Nokia Siemens may increase $650M offer for Nortel assets

Nokia Siemens Networks may increase the size of its offer for Nortel Networks' wireless assets, and also may snap up other assets of the bankrupt firm, an NSN company executive confirmed.

Sue Spradley, the North American chief of Nokia Siemens, said the vendor was prepared to raise its $650 million "stalking horse" bid for Nortel's CDMA and LTE assets if another suitor presented a higher offer ahead of the July 21 deadline to submit bids.

"That may be a requirement in order to remain in the bid process," she said. "And we'll do so." An auction is set for July 24 in New York City. Nokia Siemens faces a possible rival in MatlinPatterson, a private-equity firm and a Nortel bondholder and creditor, which has said it is formulating a rival bid and hopes to keep Nortel intact.

According to the Toronto Star, Spradley said competing bids for Nortel's wireless assets would force Nokia Siemens to balance concerns of properly valuing the assets and overpaying for them, and then being forced to cut jobs and operations after the auction.

Spradley also said that Nokia Siemens could possibly acquire some of Nortel's other assets, but said the company was currently focused on simply getting the wireless business.

"Right now our focus is on the CDMA and LTE assets, we want to get that process through the gate," she said at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Canada. "If other assets come on to the market, we will look at each one for their value and if there is something there, we will do a deal. But, it needs to have the right value for us and make sense given our customers."

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Toronto Star article
- see this Financial Post article

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