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Nortel to Avaya: You can buy our love ... for $900M

After Nortel bankruptcy court deliberations outlasted most U.S. Open matches this weekend, the fallen Canadian communications and networking behemoth finally settled on a winning bidder for its Enterprise Solutions business — Avaya.

The New Jersey-based telecom, which had placed the first stalking horse bid of $475 million (US) this summer, has agreed to pay a cool $900 million for the assets, plus an additional $15 million reserved for an “employee retention program,” Nortel officials announced early Monday morning.

The company beat out Siemens Enterprise Communications in the nail-biter auction, which was delayed this weekend after Verizon filed court papers alleging Ayava’s acquisition of Nortel’s Government Solutions business in the deal would jeopardize national security, Reuters reported.

Officials from both companies had little to say about that hiccup this morning.

“[The auction] provides the capability to chart our future with laser-focus, enabling customers to compete in new ways with greater scale and resources. We look forward to working closely with our customers, partners and stakeholders during this pre-close phase to ensure that we continue to innovate to meet customers’ needs with high-performance, efficient and secure communications solutions,” said Joel Hackney, president of Nortel’s Enterprise Solutions, in a statement.

“As we work through integration planning, it is business as usual, and we will continue to focus on supporting our installed base,” he added. “Through deal close and beyond, we will deliver on our stated customer commitments and maintain high levels of service and support. We will ensure our customers can fully leverage their existing Nortel investment as they benefit from the complementary capabilities of the Nortel and the Avaya portfolio of products and services.”

And on and on and on.

Avaya was a bit more, well, succinct.

“Our successful bid brings us closer to adding Nortel and its complementary channel, portfolio, research and development, and global presence to Avaya,” said Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO, Avaya. “We believe the acquisition brings inherent value to both organizations’ customers, employees and partners, and we look forward to its successful conclusion.”

The fun doesn’t end yet though! Stayed tuned… the sale is pending approval from Canadian and U.S. courts in a joint hearing tomorrow.

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