After months of speculation around the fate of the embattled networking firm Nortel, application switching vendor Radware has announced that it has reached an asset purchase agreement to acquire Nortel's Layer 4-7 application delivery business.
The Radware deal will see the transfer of products, inventory and intellectual property from Nortel's Layer 4-7 business, as well as certain tangible assets and service contracts. Nortel itself acquired its application switch product line when it bought out Alteon WebSystems in late 2000.
"We believe acquiring Nortel’s application delivery business is a strategic move that will directly benefit Radware and Nortel's [Alteon] customers," said Roy Zisapel, chief executive of Radware.
"Our ultimate goal is to provide them with a stronger, integrated product backed by world-class support and a globally-focused organisation. We are committed to making this transaction seamless for existing Nortel [Alteon] customers and intend to take the necessary steps to ensure zero disruption to their business when the transfer occurs."
Once the acquisition is complete, Radware intends to offer the application delivery products under a merged brand called Radware Alteon. It has also pledged to Nortel's existing Alteon customers that it will be adding significant investment into service and support as well as continuing to develop and sell the range using the experience and technology from both sides.
"This move is a positive one for both companies and their respective customers and partners," explained Lucinda Borovick, research vice president of datacentre networks for analyst firm IDC.
"It will provide a stable path forward for existing Nortel application delivery customers with an established industry provider that specialises in this space and will continue to invest in the advancement of the product line."
Radware has also said it will be taking on some of Nortel's employees working on the Alteon range, which may help alleviate the headcount of Nortel's impending cuts.
As part of the legal requirements for the acquisition, Nortel has filed the asset purchase agreement with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware along with a motion seeking the establishment of bidding procedures for an auction that allows other qualified bidders to submit higher or otherwise better offers.
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