Courts approve Nortel wireless sale to Ericsson

Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:39pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Pav Jordan and Tom Hals

TORONTO/WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - The $1.13 billion sale of Nortel Networks' prized wireless assets to Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson received the blessing of Canadian and U.S. courts on Tuesday, with a U.S. bankruptcy judge praising the bidding process.

It remained unclear whether the Canadian government will intervene in the deal now that courts have allowed it to go ahead.

Ericsson won an auction for the key CDMA and next-generation LTE wireless technology assets of Canada's bankrupt Nortel early on Saturday, beating out Nokia Siemens Networks and private equity firm MatlinPatterson.

The Delaware and Ontario court proceedings were held in conjunction and connected by video link-up.

Losing bidders and Nortel creditors can appeal the courts' ruling for up to 21 days.

"It's rare for a bankruptcy judge to allow himself to be enthusiastic, but I'm enthusiastic about this process," the Delaware court judge said after the three-hour hearing, praising the efficiency of the sale.

Earlier in the day, Nortel said in a court filing that objections from suppliers Airvana Inc and Flextronics Corp and others had either been resolved or withdrawn.

The deal may still need the approval of the Canadian government, which has been lobbied by Canadian BlackBerry maker Research In Motion to block the sale. RIM argues that keeping Nortel's technology in Canada is vital to national security.   Continued...

<p>A sign is pictured outside Nortel's Carling Campus in Ottawa July 24, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>