Nortel sells its optical assets to Bookham for $108 million

Nortel has agreed to sell assets from its optical components business to Bookham Technology for approximately $108 million. The sale is designed to help Nortel in its bid to regain profitability and also ensure it a continued supply of optical components with which to build products, the company says.

The deal includes a three-year supply agreement under which Nortel will buy components from Bookham worth at least $120 million over the first 18 months.

The sale includes Nortel's transmitter and receiver business in Paignton, U.K.; Ottawa, Ontario; and Harlow, U.K.; and its pump laser and amplifiers business in Paignton, Zurich and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The assets to be sold include patents, trademarks and other intellectual property. About 1,000 employees will have the option to stay on at Bookham "after redundancies are addressed," Nortel says.

The deal is expected to close by year-end, pending European and U.S. regulatory approvals, and a vote by the shareholders of Bookham.

The transaction is an "important step" in Nortel's path to profitability and its strategy to provide high performance, cost-effective optical network systems for its customers, says Brian McFadden, president of Nortel's optical networks group.

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