Nortel buys Periphonics for $436m

After sitting on the sidelines for much of the recent acquisition mania created by rivals Lucent Technologies and Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks got in the game Tuesday with a $436m (£270m) agreement to purchase Periphonics.

With the acquisition, Nortel increases its stake in the burgeoning call centre market. Periphonics creates interactive voice technology for use in call centres and other voice and data applications.

Nortel plans to combine its expertise in data and voice convergence with Periphonics' technology to create Internet-enabled call centres, which would provide Web users with an interactive link to customer service facilities. By combining Internet functionality with traditional services, creating a new category of products called eServices, Nortel hopes to appeal to a new wave of e-commerce pioneers. "Together, our solutions will be even more attractive to businesses that want to use the Internet and voice activation to deliver more powerful, versatile and responsive customer care than ever before," said Wayne Fothergill, president of enterprise applications solutions at Nortel, in a prepared statement.

Periphonics has more than 900 employees and recorded revenue of $142m for the past fiscal year. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.


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