RIM attacks Nortel for rejecting offer for CDMA, LTE assets

Canadian handset vendor Research In Motion (RIM) has come out swinging against compatriot firm Nortel, alleging that the infrastructure vendor, which is in the process of selling itself off, has obstructed its attempts to purchase assets.

The BlackBerry maker claims that it has been prevented from submitting an offer for Nortel’s LTE and CDMA wireless assets, which have already caught the eye of Nokia Siemens Networks.

NSN proposed a bid of $650m for the assets, with the bankruptcy auction scheduled to take place on July 24, 2009. It looked like NSN would be the sole bidder, however RIM’s outburst may change that, especially seeing as RIM is willing to almost double NSN’s offer.

Jim Balsillie, RIM’s co-chief executive officer said that the firm would be prepared to pay in the range of $1.1bn for the CDMA and LTE businesses and certain other Nortel assets. He also said that in its attempts to be qualified as a bidder in Nortel’s auction bidding process, RIM was told it could be qualified only if it promised not to submit offers for other Nortel assets for a period of one year—something which it intended to do.

“RIM is extremely disappointed that Nortel’s world leading technology, the development of which has been funded in part by Canadian taxpayers, seems destined to leave Canada and that Canada’s own Export Development Corporation is preparing to help by lending $300 million to another bidder…RIM has found itself blocked at every turn,” said Balsillie.

In related news, enterprise networking firm Avaya signed an agreement to purchase Nortel’s enterprise solutions business for $475m. The proposed acquisition includes the Nortel Enterprise Solutions voice, data and government systems businesses.

Again, the deal is subject to a bankruptcy auction process, but it does not look like Ayava will have any competition.

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