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Bidders 'plot Nortel break up'

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Nokia Siemens Networks, Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications are bidding to carve up Canadian networking giant Nortel - which is currently in bankruptcy protection - according to a report.

Seeking a stronger presence in the US market, Nokia Siemens made an unsolicited approach for large parts of Nortel's carrier equipment business, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The paper also said Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications were vying for Nortel's enterprise telecoms business, and both submitted bids last week. Private equity outfit Golden Gate Capital also reportedly tabled an offer.

Nortel's carrier and enterprise business account for most of its operating profit. The firm's battered stock rose almost 30 per cent on the bid reports yesterday.

Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in January after years of losses and accounting scandal. Last week its British subsidiary fired 228 staff without a redundancy payout. In March, Nortel went to court for the right to pay eight senior executives share in a $45m bonus pool. ®

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