Nortel puts multiservice switch unit on the auction block

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Does anyone remember when Nortel snapped up multi-service switch provider Shasta Networks in the late 1990s? Well, now Nortel Networks is going to sell its Multiservice Switch (MSS) unit, to PSP Holding-a special purpose entity supported by Marlin Equity Partners (Marlin) and Samnite Technologies--for $39 million in cash.

Although it's possible another group could make a competing bid for the unit, PSP will buy all of Nortel's MSS assets in North America, Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) in addition to Nortel's Data Packet Network and Shasta product groups patents. When the sale is completed, PSP expects to retain current MSS employees.

Despite the sale being another sad chapter in the demise of Nortel, the PSP deal will at the very least ensure that existing Nortel MSS enterprise and service provider customers will continue to get service and support for their equipment.

Nortel will seek Canadian and U.S. bankruptcy court permission to begin the MSS auction. This latest auction follows Nortel's previous sales of its CDMA and GSM business (Ericsson), Optical/Ethernet (Ciena) and its carrier voice business (GENBAND).

For more:
- see the release here

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