Investment firm proposes plan for “New Nortel”

Nokia Siemens Networks faces tough competition as the telecoms vultures continue picking over the carcass of Canadian vendor Nortel.

MPAM Wireless an affiliate of investment firm MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities, which targets distressed securities has issued a proposal to acquire Nortel’s LTE and CDMA assets to the tune of $725m.

MatlinPatterson’s offer trumps NSN’s $650m proposal, but doesn’t come close to Research In Motion’s (RIM) own problematic $1.1bn offer, which RIM says has been rejected by Nortel.

The investment firm may have an edge though, in that its advisory team on the proposed acquisition includes a line up of former Nortel executives including former North American president Dion Joannou; Richard Piasentin, former Nortel VP of sales; and Tony Pirih, former head of Nortel R&D. The advisory team also includes former executives of AT&T Wireless, Alltel and Motorola.

MatlinPatterson believes that it could spin the CDMA and LTE business off as a “New Nortel,” bolstered by additional bolt on acquisitions, partnerships, reinvention and new ideas from within the technology asset base.

The firm also argues that its offer provides existing creditors with the opportunity to participate side by side with MatlinPatterson in its investment in the New Nortel, whilst preserving as many, if not more jobs as the NSN proposal. The company said t would also acquire additional Nortel assets as part of the fire sale, in order to build up the stand alone company.

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