Israeli company Radware has stepped in quickly to grab the Alteon range of application delivery switches from struggling company Nortel.

The Canadian switch giant filed for Chapter 11 last month and has sought buyers for parts of its business since then. Radware has agree an asset purchase agreement to buy the Alteon business, under the terms of the Chapter 11 agreement, another bidder could put in a higher offer. Assets included as part of the agreement will include Nortel's Layer 4-7 application delivery products, intellectual property, certain tangible assets and inventory and service contracts.

The company is looking to integrate the Alteon range within the Radware product portfolio. Radware's chief operating officer, Ilan Kinreich, said in an interview with Techworld, that the there was a good fit in the application delivery content (ADC) market. "There two products each had different strengths and we want to combine them to bring out the best of both worlds".
He wouldn't go into too much detail of how the product integration would work but gave an example of how the companies could be seen as complementary. "Alteon products are very strong up to 4 Gig, but Radware go to 10 Gig and higher, so we'd aim to bring Alteon products to the high performance market."

Radware has announced that it will continue to support Alteon's product by offering a five-year support plan. Kinreich said that Radware was retaining all existing technical and support staff and would spend the first year supporting the existing products. "We'll aim to move to integrate the products in the second year after acquisition," he added.

"This move is a positive one for both companies and their respective customers and partners," said Lucinda Borovick, Research Vice President, Datacenter Networks, 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."

The Alteon products were initially acquired by Nortel in 2000 for an eye-watering $7.8 billion. Terms of Radware's purchase were not disclosed but it will have been considerably less than that.

Although, Nortel's move into Chapter 11 would have made the Alteon acquisition much more attractive, Kinreich said it was a company that Radware had been keeping an eye on. "It's been on our radar for some time," he said. "The market had been consolidating anyway - even before the situation with Nortel." He added that the fact that the purchase was split across jurisdictions added a degree of complexity. "It meant had to use many more lawyers than usual," he said ruefully.

If approved by the judges, Kinreich said that he expected the purchase to be completed by the end of March to mid-April.