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Ciena Closes Nortel MEN Deal for $773.8M

Ciena Corp. (CIEN) said has closed the takeover of bankrupt Nortel Networks’ Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) group.

Ciena bought the unit in late 2009 in a nail-biter auction against Nokia Siemens Networks.

Late Friday, Ciena said it paid a total price of $773.8 million, all cash. The original purchase price totaled $769 million. Ciena was going to pay some of the total in convertible notes but chose, just before closing, to go with a cash equivalent that amounted to $243.8 million.

Ciena now gets a greater geographic reach, more customers and more technology to add to its portfolio.

“We’re confident that this acquisition positions Ciena for faster growth,” said Gary Smith, Ciena’s president and CEO.

Of the Nortel execs that may be staying on, Pavi Binning is not one of them. The former chief restructuring officer, who made $1.95 million at Nortel in 2009, won’t have a position at Ciena. Binning will stay on through Sunday, March 21, (meaning, he has the weekend to find a new job) as the CFO and executive vice president and then, according to Nortel, he’ll be around for a while to help complete the business sales in process and transition his duties. After that, John Doolittle will become CFO.

Meantime, Ciena is poised to begin a new chapter. The Maryland-based company says it has chosen new management, taken on almost all of the Nortel employees to whom it offered jobs and promised it will service the Nortel contracts it has acquired. Also, Philippe Morin, former president of Nortel’s MEN, will join Ciena as senior vice president of the global products group. Ciena will provide more direction on Monday.


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