Nortel's wireless assets won at auction by Ericsson for $1.13 billion
Nortel filed for bankruptcy in January and was once North America's biggest maker of telephone gear. From a peak of 90,000 employees, Nortel cut down to 25,000 workers. The wireless division had a bit more than 3000 on the payroll at the time of the auction and Ericsson said it would keep 2,500 of them after the deal closes. Three firms were in the running for the assets. Nokia put in the first bid at $650 million dollars followed by a $725 million dollar bid by private equity firm MatlinPatterson. A rumored $1.1 billion dollar attempt to buy Nortel's wireless assets by BlackBerry manufacturer RIM was blocked by Nortel. RIM refused to agree to the confidentiality rules that all other bidders agreed to follow. The winning $1.3 billion dollar bid by Ericsson came after a long 12 hour auction and still needs to be approved by U.S. and Canadian Courts in hearings scheduled for Tuesday.