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Ericsson wins bid for Nortel's wireless businesses

Warwick Ashford

Ericsson has won the bid for the wireless division of Nortel Networks, the bankrupt Canadian telecoms equipment firm.

The deal is almost certain to mean a full break-up of Nortel, which filed for US and Canadian bankruptcy protection in January.

US and Canadian courts are expected to approve this week Ericsson's $1.1bn bid for assets that include Nortel's businesses in the CDMA wireless technology, according to the Financial Times.

Swedish firm Ericsson outbid Nokia Siemens and MatlinPatterson in a nearly 12-hour auction in New York on Friday.

Richard Lowe, head of Nortel's wireless business, said both employees and customers had expressed support for the deal.

But ahead of the bid, Canada's industry minister Tony Clement said he would welcome a Canadian bid and had encouraged Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) to take part.

RIM had said it was willing to pay $1.1bn for the Nortel wireless business, but did not enter a formal bid after a disagreement about bidding conditions set by Nortel.

Analyst said the deal will significantly expand Ericsson's footprint in North America, mark its return to the CDMA business, consolidate the firm's position as leading global telecoms equipment supplier.


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