2010 was a collection of highs and lows for the local tech sector.
Nortel Networks Corp. says it has reached a $57-million deal with its pensioners and employees on long-term disability, just a few months after declaring bankruptcy and jettisoning various business units to Ericsson, Ciena, Avaya and Genband.
Under the deal, which requires court approval, Nortel will continue to administer its negotiated pension plan and its managerial and non-negotiated pension plan until the end of September. Nortel will pay income benefits to LTD beneficiaries and to those receiving survivor income benefits and survivor transition benefits through December 31.
Medical and dental benefits to Nortel pensioners and survivors and Nortel LTD beneficiaries will also be paid until the end of the year.
IT services provider The Utility Company receives $1 million in funding from BDC Capital Inc. to expand its franchise program in the mid-market space and to build relationships with industry associations.
The Ottawa-based firm, which bills itself as a “ virtual IT department” for small and medium-sized businesses, said the growth capital will be used for the sales and marketing of the soon-to-be-launched aspects of its Connected Office service portfolio, including the CO Enterprise Program that provides additional external support for companies that already have an internal IT department.
Another piece of the former Nortel Networks empire is sold, with the Canadian company’s interest in a Korean operation going to LM Ericsson for US$242 million. Nortel announces the sale of its 50-percent-plus-one share interest in LG-Nortel Co. Ltd., the company’s joint Korean venture with LG Electronics Inc.
Mitel Networks Corp. announces that it raised about US$147.37 million through its initial public offering. The Ottawa-based telecom infrastructure company, which launched its IPO on April 22, says it closed the offering of 10,526,316 common shares at $14 each, down from the originally stated share price target of between $18-20. Mitel’s share price will continue to dwindle in 2009, sitting at around $5.50 at press time, and OBJ CEO of the Year Don Smith will eventually announce his upcoming retirement from the company later in the year.
Memory chip maker Sidense Corp. lands Ottawa’s second venture capital deal of the year, a $5-million Series-B round that includes participation from both Canadian and international investors.
Sidense – which develops logic nonvolatile memory intellectual property cores – says it received the growth capital from a group of investors led by VentureLink Funds of Canada, with participation from its existing funding partners, Tech Capital partners and Trellis Capital of Canada and Israel’s Vertex Venture Capital.
The company says it will use the money to expand the development of its embedded, one-time programmable memory products and to ramp up sales and marketing efforts.
Smart thermostat maker Energate Inc. secures $7.2 million in venture capital funding, marking the second VC round raised by a local company in just over two weeks.
Energate says the series-B funding round would be used to drive sales growth and customer deployment initiatives, while supporting the company’s ongoing product development and strategic partnerships.
The investment was co-led by the cleantech focused, Montreal-based Cycle Capital Fund I LP, with new and existing investors and the provincial government’s Emerging Technology Fund participating in the VC round.