Google's $900 million (€634 million) offer has been chosen as the stalking horse bid for Nortel's extensive patent portfolio.
The search giant’s bid was picked after several rounds of preliminary bidding and will serve as the basis for the sale of 6,000 patents and applications covering 4G, data networking, optical, voice and semiconductors. The sale is tipped to go ahead in June, after the required court approvals are granted.
George Riedel, Nortel’s chief strategist, said the sale offers a unique opportunity
to acquire “one of the most extensive and compelling patent portfolios to ever come on the market.”
Nortel will pay Google $25 million in break up fees, and a further $4 million to cover expenses
if another party wins the auction, Bloomberg
reports. Bids will go up in increments of at least $5 million, and bidding has been pegged to hit a minimum of $1 billion.
Nortel's patent portfolio is nearly all that's left of the once mighty Canadian telecom equipment vendor. The company has sold off most of its other assets after declaring bankruptcy. Notable deals include the sale of its GSM and CDMA assets and its controlling stake in LG-Nortel to Ericsson.