Nortel puts MEN divestiture 'on hold'

FEBRUARY 5, 2009 -- In an email sent this morning to the Lightwave editorial staff, a Nortel media relations representative confirmed that the company's "previously announced potential MEN [Metro Ethernet Networks] divestiture has been put on hold."

FEBRUARY 5, 2009 -- In an email sent this morning to the Lightwave editorial staff, Nortel (search for Nortel) media relations representative Ryan Hill confirmed that the company's "previously announced potential MEN [Metro Ethernet Networks] divestiture has been put on hold."

"These plans have been put on hold while the overall business plan is being developed to emerge from this process a more competitive and focused company, which will be subject to the approval of creditors and the courts," he wrote. "Through the restructuring process, our goal is to proactively address the Company's current challenges and ultimately strengthen the business to ensure its long-term viability."

Nortel claims its MEN business is among the strongest in the industry with an installed base of over 410,000 network elements. The company also cites its 40G/100G technology development as a strength.

Since Nortel announced last September that is would explore a divestiture of its MEN business unit, which includes its optical and carrier Ethernet portfolios, several potential buyers have been rumored to be in the mix, including Huawei, Cisco, and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Following its bankruptcy filing on January 14, 2009, many analysts have suggested that a divestiture represents Nortel's best path to viability going forward.


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