Court greenlights ‘stalking horse’ bid

Nortel Networks Corp. received approval Thursday for a US$521-million bid by Ciena Corp. for its Optical Networking business as part of an auction for some of the company’s most prized assets.

TORONTO — Nortel Networks Corp. received approval Thursday for a US$521-million bid by Ciena Corp. for its Optical Networking business as part of an auction for some of the company’s most prized assets.

Bankruptcy court judges in both Delaware and Ontario gave the “stalking horse” bid a greenlight after the process hit a snag.

Both judges were unhappy with some of the specifics of the bid, including the amount Ciena would be paid if its bid was unsuccessful, and initially rejected the plan.

However, Nortel and Ciena reworked the auction plan and received approval after they presented it to the court a second time.

“We understand that there were changes to the bidding procedures and a change to the termination provisions of the stalking horse agreement,” Nortel spokesman Bo Gowan wrote in an e-mail.

“We do not have specific details on those changes at this time; however any modifications will be reflected in the court orders which will be publicly available.”

The Optical Networking business includes some of Nortel’s most sought-after businesses units, intellectual properties and employees.

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