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Offer for Nortel's carrier VoIP business seen as near

Nortel is reportedly close to receiving an offer for its Carrier VoIP business.

A Nortel executive in charge of the operations was quoted in Canada's Financial Post, saying the company is on the verge of receiving a “stalking horse” bid for the business, which includes softswitches, media gateways and applications. Stalking horse bids are initial offers for assets that essentially set a floor price before auction.

Nortel just sold its CDMA and LTE wireless assets to Ericsson under such an arrangement, for $1.13 billion. Avaya has a $475 million stalking horse bid for Nortel's enterprise business, which goes on the auction block Sept. 11.

“We are very close to getting a stalking-horse [first-offer] bid, which will provide clarity on the situation,” said Samih Elhage, president of Nortel's Carrier VoIP and Applications Solutions business in the Financial Post article.

A Nortel spokesperson said the company had nothing to add beyond the report.

Likely bidders include competitors Nokia Siemens, Sonus, Ericsson, Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent, the article states.

Carrier VoIP and Applications Solutions, which employs 2,500 people, is a $800 million business and is profitable, according to the story. The business represents about 10% of Nortel's overall $8 billion in annual revenue.

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