Canadian regulator OKs Nortel unit sale to Ciena

December 31, 2009

Canadian regulatory authorities on Wednesday approved Ciena Corp.'s $769 million planned purchase of a subsidiary of Nortel Networks Corp. Ciena outbid rivals last month to acquire Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks division in a deal that would make the Linthicum-based company North America's largest purveyor of fiber-optic networking gear and the third largest in the world. Ciena and Nortel, which is based in Canada and operating under bankruptcy protection, needed to receive approval from that country's Minister of Industry for the deal to go through. In a statement Wednesday, Canada's Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, said he approved the deal because he was satisfied it would be a "net benefit" for that country. The Nortel division has about 1,400 employees in Canada, and Ciena has previously said it expected to keep most of the workers employed there and would not relocate them to the U.S.

- Gus G. Sentementes

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