November 12, 2009
Avaya's acquisition of Nortel Networks enterprise solutions unit has been sped up by U.S. and Canadian antitrust agencies, which have approved regulatory measures likely to pave the way to final approval of the $900 million acquisition.
In an announcement Wednesday, Avaya said the firm has been granted early termination of the mandatory waiting period normally required under the provisions of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. In addition, Avaya said it had received regulatory clearance from the Canadian Competition Bureau. "The Competition Bureau issued a no action letter, indicating that it does not have grounds to challenge the proposed transaction under the (Canadian) Competition Act," said Avaya. Avaya added that it expects the acquisition to close in December after additional regulatory reviews are completed. Bidding to acquire the Nortel unit was heated and Avaya had to increase its bid to about $900 million after Siemens Enterprise Communication and Gores Group teamed up to raise the bidding for the unit, one of the most prized in bankrupt Nortel's surviving businesses. Avaya had started the bidding with a $475 million stalking horse bid and waited as its first offer was topped by the Siemens-Gores group. The acquisition was hailed by Nortel Networks Users Association and also by many employees of the unit after Avaya agreed to provide an additional pool of $15 million for an employee retention program.
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