Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

Nortel and RIM – WTF?

Posted on: July 22, 2009

BlackBerry daddy Research in Motion (RIM) wanted to put in a $1.1 billion bid for Nortel assets, but  walked away from the deal when Nortel put too many conditions on the deal.  Seriously, what is wrong with this picture? A) Nortel dictating terms to anyone offering $1.1 billion (Canadian, US, whatever, a billion is a lot of money). B) RIM bidding for Nortel wireless assets or C) All of the above.

I’m leaning towards C) at the moment.

From a Canadian nationalistic standpoint, I get that RIM was bidding on Nortel’s wireless business, but I’m not sure that paying $1.1 billion U.S. for CDMA and LTE assets isn’t overkill, since the next closest bids were in the $600-$750 million range.  RIM was told if could be qualified only if it promised not to submit offers for other Nortel assets for a period of one year — in other words, after the rest of the company had been sold off in bits and pieces around the globe.

It looked like RIM wanted to Do The Right Thing (apologies to Spike Lee) and keep ownership of Nortel assets in the Great White North, but it would have put RIM into a business of wireless infrastructure rather than end user devices.  It would have been a big bold leap for RIM.

Ah well,  bidding for the pieces of Nortel’s corpse closes out on Friday, so we’ll have to see what happens between now and then.

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