The end of Nortel

by Robert Janelle

Hopes to save the troubled Canadian tech giant Nortel were dashed over the weekend with the announcement that the company would be selling off all of its divisions.

It began to look like the end on Friday when Nortel accepted a bid from Nokia Siemens to buy the company's CDMA and LTE units, the most valuable divisions left, for $650 million U.S.

This announcement was followed by an e-mail from Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski to employees in which openly admits that Nortel will not emerge from bankruptcy protection, which the company has been under for the past five months.

"Since the beginning of the filing process, our focus has been on preserving the value of our businesses – our technology, customer relationships and the know-how of our people – in the face of a contracting and consolidating global market. We had every intention of leading that consolidation, as it is clear that there will be fewer players in our industry in the future. It is clear now that Nortel will not be one of them in our current form."

"Nortel will not emerege from the process that began with our filings for creditor protection."

The Zafirovski e-mail goes on to say that the company will apply to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Following the sale of the CDMA and LTE units, 2500 current Nortel employees will be given the opportunity to join operations at Nokia Siemens.

There will now be an increased focus at the company on finding buyers for the remaining business units in order to pay off creditors. 

Hopefully some money will also make it to the recently laid-off employees who've been denied severance since the bankruptcy protection filing.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hundreds of millions of people, Fortune 500 companies, and government institutions around the world trust their networks to Nortel's reliable and secure solutions. Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that make the promise of Business Made Simple a reality for our customers. Our next-generation technologies, for both service provider and enterprise networks,... more

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Robert Janelle

Robert Janelle

Robert Janelle is a freelance technology journalist living in the National Capital Region. He's spent time covering the Ottawa start-up scene as a columnist and feature writer with his work in National Capital Scan, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun, Kingston Whig-Standard and The Escapist. He also suffers from a mild addiction to video games. more

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