Nortel patent sale will not be reviewed: minister

OTTAWA — The US$4.5-billion sale of Nortel’s patent portfolio to a consortium including Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) cleared another hurdle Tuesday as Ottawa said the deal does not need to be reviewed under the Investment Canada Act.

OTTAWA — The US$4.5-billion sale of Nortel’s patent portfolio to a consortium including Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) cleared another hurdle Tuesday as Ottawa said the deal does not need to be reviewed under the Investment Canada Act.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that, based on the accounting value of the portfolio, the sale would not be reviewed because it does not meet the $312-million threshold requirement.

“Investment review officials have examined the applicable rules and threshold values under the Investment Canada Act as they apply to Rockstar Bidco LP’s proposed acquisition of Nortel’s patents,” Paradis said in statement.

“Based on the information provided by the investor and Nortel’s 2010 audited financial statements, the acquisition of the Nortel patents is not subject to review for net benefit under the act.”

Paradis had asked officials earlier this month to see if the sale, which includes more than 6,000 patents, should be scrutinized under the Investment Canada Act.

The legislation requires foreign accusations of Canadian companies valued at more than $312 million to be a “net benefit” to the country.

In addition to RIM, the Rockstar Bidco LP consortium includes Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony.

The group beat out Google and others for the more than 6,000 patents, which include technology that is expected to be the backbone of wireless networks for the next decade.

Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM’s share amounted to $770 million or 17 per cent of the total purchase price; however how the ownership structure of the patents within the consortium has not been disclosed.

Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and has been selling off its operations bit by bit since then.

The patent sale, which was approved last week by courts in the U.S. and Canada overseeing the process, was the last major technology asset Nortel had left to sell as it wound up its operations.

Nortel has held several auctions for its various divisions and assets that have required a review under the Investment Canada Act.

In 2009, then-industry minister Tony Clement signed off on Nortel’s sale of its Metro Ethernet Networks division to U.S.-based Ciena Corp. for $769 million. The government also approved the sale of Nortel’s enterprise solutions business to Avaya Inc. for $900 million.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
A CN rail worker stands on an idle locomotive as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
CN makes rival bid to CP Rail’s offer to buy U.S. railway Kansas City Southern

Offer tops proposal made last month by Canadian Pacific Railway

The Rogers Logo is photographed on a Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Rogers says wireless service fully restored after daylong nationwide outage

Wireless interruption had deep economic implications

President Joe Biden meets with members of congress to discuss his jobs plan in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Feds weighing how to respond after verdict in Chauvin trial

The verdict, and the aftermath, will be a test for Biden

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, centre, tables the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives, Bloc Quebecois to propose budget rewrites as debate starts

O’Toole has signalled that his party will propose its own economic recovery plan

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

San Jose Sharks centre Patrick Marleau (12) skates during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, in San Jose, Calif., Monday, March 29, 2021. Marleau is skating in his 1,757th game. Only one other player in NHL history has hit that mark. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tony Avelar
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s record for most NHL games played

Marleau was set to suit up for the 1,768th time Monday

FILE - In this Saturday April 17, 2021 file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II follows the coffin in a car as it makes it’s way past the Round Tower during the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. Now that the Royal Family has said farewell to Prince Philip, attention will turn to Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday on Wednesday, April 21 and, in coming months, the celebrations marking her 70 years on the throne. This combination of events is reminding the United Kingdom that the reign of the queen, the only monarch most of her subjects have ever known, is finite. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP, file)
Queen enters ‘twilight’ of reign after farewell to Philip

Charles’ increased role began gradually

This combination photo shows Oscar nominees for best actress, from left, Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Andra Day in “The United States vs Billie Holiday,” Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman,” Frances McDormand in “Nomadland and Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman.” (Netflix, from left, Hulu, Netflix, Searchlight Pictures, Focus Features via AP)
Oscar predictions: Can anything beat ‘Nomadland’?

Best actress race is perhaps the biggest wild card

Letters
Letter: Restrictions have nothing to do with religion

Many have framed the closure of GraceLife Church near Edmonton by Alberta… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Thanking volunteers in Red Deer

National Volunteer Week is April 18 to 24. At the Canadian Cancer… Continue reading

Letter to the editor
Letter: Good on MLAs for speaking out

This is a letter in regard to MLAs not standing united behind… Continue reading

Treena Mielke
Family: Happiness can be found in many ways

I’ve heard it said that necessity is the mother of invention. I… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Most Read