Nortel enterprise biz not on Cisco's plate: WSJ

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Nortel is in talks with rivals about selling off its enterprise and wireless businesses. One rival that is not interested in the enterprise business is Cisco, the paper reports.

Several competitors have expressed interest in buying Nortel's enterprise unit, according to the WSJ article, including Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications, a joint venture of Siemens and Gores Group, the private equity firm that owns Enterasys. Cisco looked at the unit as well but is not expected to bid, the paper reports.

Nortel is also in talks to sell its wireless unit, with Nokia Siemens Networks mentioned as an interested party, according to the WSJ article. Together, the wireless and enterprise units account for $6.7 billion of Nortel's annual revenue of about $10 billion, the paper states.

The article speculates that Nortel, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, may be looking to break itself up and sell large chunks of its operations off instead of trying to emerge from Chapter 11 intact. The company may believe its pieces are more valuable to investors and shareholders than the whole of its operations.

Nortel management is currently working on a restructuring plan under Chapter 11 and will make that plan public in April or May, the WSJ reports.

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