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Nortel Preps Shasta Sale

Craig Matsumoto

Wait, there's even more of Nortel Networks Ltd. to sell off?

Oh, right... the Shasta stuff.

Today, Nortel announced that the auction wheels are in motion again: There's been a $39 million stalking horse bid filed by Marlin Equity Partners and Samnite Technologies Inc.

Specifically, they're bidding on the multiservice switch business, which includes Shasta products, the Data Packet Network group, and some related patents. The all-cash bid will trigger the usual auction process, but given how long it's taken for an offer to come in, it's not likely to be a very exciting auction.

Samnite doesn't appear to have a Website and, based on this list, may have incorporated in June.

What we do know is that Samnite is based in Ottawa, which would suggest the acquired technology would stay in Cananda.

Shasta's been around. Acquired by Nortel in 1999, the company's products eventually became part of Nortel's mobile packet core offering. By 2004, rumors were circulating that Nortel would turn to Starent instead for its next generation of gateway GPRS support nodes (GGSNs). That move finally happened in 2007. (See Nortel Denies Shunning Shasta and Nortel Mothballs Shasta.) [Ed. note: And let's not forget those totally awesome Shasta commercials.]

The multiservice switch business appears to be the last notable piece of Nortel left to sell, other than its Long Term Evolution (LTE) patent portfolio. (See Nortel: What's Left on the Shelf?, Rumor: Nortel Seeks Bids for Its Patents, The LTE Scraps From Nortel's Table, and Fighting Over Nortel's Patents.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:25:22 PM
re: Nortel Preps Shasta Sale

Not expecting a lot of excitement out of this one.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:25:18 PM
re: Nortel Preps Shasta Sale

Ah, Shasta. Story goes that after enriching the Shasta developers in the acquisition, Nortel discovered that there was no one remaining on the development team who could build a complete load for the product. Quality was awful in the early years of Shasta. 

This asset sale also included Passport, which was a very successful ATM product line for Nortel. Too bad that they couldn't transfer that success to IP.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:25:15 PM
re: Nortel Preps Shasta Sale

Shasta was originally based in Silicon Valley. Through the course of time, they got folded in with some of the Passport multi-service switch stuff out of Ottawa, but the original Shasta stuff was all-Californian.

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