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Nortel agrees to sell enterprise unit to Avaya

Bankrupt Nortel Networks, once one of the world's biggest technology companies, said it has agreed to sell its enterprise unit, which builds networks for companies, to Avaya Inc for $475 million but said higher bids may emerge.

Nortel, which in its heyday employed more than 90,000 people and could sway entire stock markets in Toronto and New York with just a blip in its share price, also plans to sell its third remaining unit before the end of the quarter, the final chapter for what was once a Canadian icon. “With the announcement today, we have stalking horse agreements for the two largest businesses within Nortel and we are acting with a great level of speed and resolve to be able to conclude all of the other stalking horse agreements,” Nortel President and Chief Executive Mike Zafirovski told Reuters. Stalking horse deals are designed to test the market, typically setting the floor for bidding, and make up the lead bid at a bankruptcy auction. Toronto-based Nortel, North America's biggest maker of telephone equipment, now employs some 30,000 workers and has been in steady decline for much of the past decade. Last month, Nortel announced a stalking horse deal to sell its CDMA and LTE wireless technology businesses to Nokia Siemens Networks for $650 million. (Reuters)