Nortels Carling Campus in Ottawa no longer belongs to the bankrupt telecom equipment maker.

Channel Partners

October 19, 2010

2 Min Read
Nortel Sells Huge Ottawa Campus, Shareholders Wont See a Dime

Canadas federal government has agreed to buy bankrupt Nortel Networks Ottawa headquarters, and it looks as though the purchase price came in at a fair market value.

Thats in contrast to all of the units Nortel has auctioned off since becoming insolvent in January 2009 once that happened, rival companies were able to buy Nortel divisions and resources for far less that the assets actual worth.

But, earlier this year, new reports pegged the Carling Campus in Ottawa as worth about $200 million in U.S. currency. And Canadas feds, Nortel announced on Tuesday, will pay $208 million in Canadian dollars, or about $202 million U.S. The deal should close by the end of this year.

For $208 million, the government gets a plush setup. The Carling Campus sits on 370 acres in Ottawas National Capital Commission greenbelt and features 11 interconnected buildings that total more than 2 million square feet. Other highlights include:

 Cafeteria, gym, conference rooms
 Waterfall and fountains for private conversations
 The glass-domed centerpiece, dubbed Lab 5, measuring 600,000 square feet with tunnels and walkways to other buildings
 Sports fields, hiking trails, bird-watching
 Research and multimedia labs
 Close to major highways and public transit

Nortel still will occupy parts of the campus as it continues its restructuring work while the Canadian government will assume all other leases, such as the one with Ciena Corp., the firm that snapped up Nortels Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business. And that looks like a possible turn of fortune for Ciena. Cienas lease will be shortened from 10 to 5 years, under the terms of a previous contract, and Ciena will receive $33.5 million in U.S. currency from the escrowed sale proceeds of the MEN sale. Of course, that means Ciena will have to find new digs in a few years but the company has plenty of time to relocate.

The leases with Avaya, Ericsson and GENBAND all appear to be staying intact.

In the meantime, Nortel said the sale of its Carling Campus wont benefit shareholders, just as none of the previous sales have done.

Nortel, a telecom industry icon, went bankrupt almost two years ago after it couldnt recover from its accounting scandals and the global economic slowdown.

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