* Joint Nokia Siemens, One Equity bid to rival Ciena's
* Final auction due Nov 20
* Ciena shares rise 3 pct in extended trade
(Adds details on Ciena bid)
By Anupreeta Das
NEW YORK, Nov 18 Nokia Siemens Networks and
private equity firm One Equity Partners have jointly bid for
Nortel Networks Corp's optical networking and carrier ethernet
business, a person familiar with the sale said on Wednesday,
challenging Ciena Corp's $526 million bid for the assets.
Last month, the bankrupt Canadian telecommunications
equipment maker said that Ciena's CIEN.O cash-and-stock bid
would be the stalking horse offer for these assets.
The Ciena offer of $390 million in cash and 10 million in
Ciena shares set a floor price for these assets and allowed
Nortel to seek competing offers. Based on the closing price of
Ciena's stock on Wednesday, the stock component is valued at
Analysts and investors have been concerned about Ciena's
offer because if it wins the auction, the U.S. networking gear
maker would have to take significant pains to integrate the
Nortel assets. Although the assets are a good fit for Ciena's
portfolio, the deal would weigh down operations, they said.
Ciena's stock fell sharply after it revealed the proposed
deal last month. But the shares rallied after Nortel delayed an
initial deadline for offers for the assets to Nov. 17 because
of interest from other bidders.
On Wednesday, Ciena shares rose 40 cents to $14 in
after-hours trade after closing down 3 percent at $13.60 on the
Nortel, once North America's biggest telecoms equipment
maker, filed for bankruptcy protection in January. It is
selling off its assets rather than trying to restructure.
It is unclear if another bidder also put in an offer to
rival the one by Nokia Siemens and One Equity, which manages $8
billion for JPMorgan (JPM.N) in private equity investments.
Separately, Nortel said on Wednesday the final auction will
be held on Nov. 20.
Officials for Ciena and Nokia Siemens were not immediately
available for comment. Officials for JPMorgan and Nortel
declined to comment.
(Reporting by Anupreeta Das; Editing by Carol Bishopric,
Bernard Orr and Matthew Lewis)