Cisco’s subtle overture for Nortel


This report in the Globe & Mail indicated that Cisco might be interested in Nortel Networks, perhaps in a buyout. Mark Evans has been saying this for a while. “The idea of a “partnership” seems much more plausible today than two months ago after Nortel hired two ex-Cisco senior executives: Gary Daichendt and Gary Kunis. It must be a whole lot easier now to make a deal, particularly since Daichendt works close to Cisco headquarters in Silicon Valley,” Evans writes.

Cisco knows NT brings instant credibility with the phone operators and wireless riches. But given the problems in the Nortel business, its scandals and accounting issues, this one is not going to get much love from the stock markets. Still it was a subtle but powerful overture from Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers when he said, “I would love to partner with Nortel. have a great deal of admiration for (Nortel CEO) Bill Owens, and for the new CFO. It’s a good company with good people, and that offer is on the table always. I’m at the alter in terms of a partnership. I’m not playing hard to get.”

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