Experts ask: is Bay in play?

Experts ask: is Bay in play?

Reports that Bay Networks refused a buyout offer from global telco Nortel have whipped up a flurry of rumours and speculation.

Bay and Nortel officials would not comment, but sources said Nortel wants to announce a Bay acquisition early next month.

The amount of the alleged Nortel offer is not known, but sources say it was between $US7.3 billion to $US8 billion.

Observers believe Bay will agree to be acquired for $US9.1 billion. The company's market cap is currently $US5.5 billion.

The time is now at hand for Bay, Cabletron and even perhaps 3Com to woo a telecom suitor in order to compete with Cisco in the voice/data megabattle of the next millennium.

Cisco is the pre-eminent supplier of IP routers for the enterprise and service provider markets thanks to its buyout of Stratacom. However in Australia, of the three challengers, Bay has certainly got its act together and is challenging Cisco for enterprise and service provider bragging rights.

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