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Nortel Spinoff Makes Good

As Nortel Networks eyes spinoffs of its enterprise and wireless units, one former Nortel entity is making good with a $114 million sale to a U.S. private equity firm. That makes it worth more than Nortel itself.

Thoma Bravo LLC struck a deal this week to buy Entrust Inc., a security software firm that began life as part of Nortel in the 1990s and went on to struggle mightily in a crowded field. Entrust now runs on slim profits, but it’s a triumph after 20 losing quarters out of 32.

Originally a player in public key infrastructure for online data security and access authentication, Entrust now relies heavily on sales of anti-fraud products and anti-fraud software and professional services to make up its $100 million in annual revenues.

The equity firm plans to keep Entrust intact—good news for any nervous Nortel employees if it serves as any indication of how Nortel units can fare, post-spinoff.


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