Herbies benefits from E&Y link with clutch of Nortel mandates

Gavin Davies

The City firm has been mandated on the sale at ­auction of four of Nortel’s major businesses. The team for the ongoing divestments is being led by corporate partners Gavin Davies, Alan Montgomery, Ben Ward, Gareth Roberts and Alex Kay.

Three of the sales, known as ‘363 auctions’, have been completed successfully, with the fourth due to take place next month.

Enterprise Solutions was sold to Avaya for $915m (£560.17m). Montgomery and Ward acted for Nortel on the sale, with the buyer being advised by Ropes & Gray and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Gareth Roberts

Davies and Ward advised on the $789m sale of Metro Ethernet to Ciena last November, with Latham & Watkins acting for the buyer. Simultaneously, Montgomery and Roberts acted on the sale of Nortel’s GSM businesses to ­Ericsson and Kapsch. Paul Weiss acted for Ericsson, while Latham & Watkins advised Kapsch.

The last of the quartet of sales will take place next month, with a stalking horse bid of $282m for the ­company’s Carrier VOIP and Application Solutions (CVAS) system coming from Genband. Kay and Roberts led on the deal, with Latham again acting for the ­potential buyer.

Montgomery said: “We’ve had a really strong relationship with E&Y throughout the process and we believe we’ve achieved a great result for creditors, employees and the business as a whole.

“It was a challenging process – we were working in a range of regions while maximising value and ­saving jobs.”

Herbert Smith first won mandates on the restructuring of the UK, Europe, ­Middle East and Africa parts of the failed Canadian telecoms company in ­January 2009. It is working alongside 25 other firms worldwide, including alliance partners Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault have been engaged to help Nortel with the restructuring of its US and Canadian businesses respectively.