Genband runs a stalking horse for Nortel’s Carrier VoIP

Updated: January 07, 2011

Canadian and American courts have come together to approve a stalking horse bid for Nortel’s carrier VoIP and applications business, or CVAS business, a leftover from the Avaya takeover. Genband, a firm headquartered in Plano, Texas, has put in a bid worth $182 million. Interestingly, this price, cited from the Ernst &Young Monitor’s report, is $100 million less than the $282 million bid announced by the two companies on December 22, 2009. That $100 million difference is the result of a number of “price adjustments,” including a TSA escrow and two different tax-related escrows.

If no other companies decide to bid for Nortel, Genband’s deal will stand. If other bids are made, the telephony assets in question will go on auction this coming February in New York.

The success of the deal will come at a substantial cost for Nortel. Nortel could have to pay up to $3.33 million of a possible $5 million break-up fee in cash if Genband’s bid doesn’t go through. A further interesting fact - also taken from the Ernst & Young report - is that One Equity Partners, a private firm that is giving Genband the money for the Nortel deal and owns 35% of Genband, will receive a $3.6 million 'incentive fee' from Nortel as part of the deal. One article on VON News speculates that this fee is meant to reimburse One Equity Partners for the firm’s losses in the Metro Ethernet Networks auction, where it was backing Nokia Siemens.

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