Nortel inclusive sale of voice-over-Internet business unit to Genband

TORONTO - Nortel Networks has finished the sale of its voice-over-Internet business unit to Genband Inc. for about US$182 million. A spokesman for Genband said the agreement will hobble about 1,800 full-time Nortel employees to the company.

The agreement with Texas-based Genband was first announced last December and was primarily considered a stalking horse bid, which assumed other bidders would come to the table.

However, Nortel abandoned its plans for a competitive auction in February and instead focused on covering up the sale to Genband.

Nortel spokeswoman Jamie Moody said that Genband has taken on about 83 per cent of the existing workforce from the Nortel voice-over-Internet division, somewhat higher than the 78 per cent it had initially pledged to hire.

Under the agreement announced in December, Genband will pay about US$182 million for the Nortel unit, and will also obtain existing customer contracts.

The privately-owned company had formerly offered about US$282 million, subject to adjustments that will reduce the price by about $100 million.