Ciena takes breather in Nortel auction, then raises bid, say reports

Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN) called for a break in last Friday’s auction for Nortel Networks’ (OTC:NRTLQ) optical and Ethernet business unit, taking the bidding into a second day, Reuters reported Saturday.

UPDATE: On Sunday, Reuters reported — again, citing unnamed sources — that Ciena had raised its bid from about $522 million to about $714 million, a mix of $500 million in cash and $214 million in convertible notes.

It’s hard to imagine Ciena winning a bidding war against the other known participant: the much more well-heeled Nokia Siemens Networks (NYSE:NOK; NYSE:SI), which is reportedly bidding jointly with private equity firm One Equity Partners. But NSN has its own internal challenges — predicting larger than expected market share losses this year and announcing a new round of layoffs.

I wonder if Ciena would fare any better if it could pull its own private equity partner into this fight as well. What do you think? Leave a comment.

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