Canada clears Ericsson’s bid for Nortel

The Canadian government will not stand in the way of Swedish firm Ericsson's $1.13 billion deal to buy a slice of Nortel's mobile telephone division, Industry Minister Tony Clement confirmed on Wednesday.

“Based on all the information presented to me and to the government, there are no grounds to believe that this transaction could be injurious to Canada’s national security,” Clement told a press conference.

The deal was approved by Canadian and US bankruptcy courts at the end of July, but at the time Ottawa remained circumspect over whether the sale met the country’s investment laws.

The conservative government said it would have preferred to see Nortel’s technology transferred to another Canadian group, Research In Motion (RIM) the makers of the Blackberry, whose final offer topped that by Ericsson.

“Ericsson is offering jobs to roughly 800 Canadian Nortel workers at substantively the same pay and benefits and based on the same location,” Clement said.

“According to the company, an overwhelming majority of employees who have been offered a job so far have accepted.”

The acquisition will make North America the biggest market for Ericsson, which last year reported sales in the region of $2.7 billion.

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