Network specialist Radware ( RDWR) has swooped down to buy part of Nortel's ( NT) switch business, as the troubled telecom equipment manufacturer attempts to put its house in order.

The asset purchase agreement finally ends speculation that the Israeli firm was poised to grab some of Nortel's products. Rumors emerged last month that Radware was targeting Nortel's metro Ethernet Networks business, but is now acquiring the firm's Alteon enterprise switch family.

Nortel, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while it restructures its business, suspended the sale of its key metro Ethernet Networks division earlier this month.

Neither Nortel nor Radware has revealed the value of the Alteon deal, although the Canadian firm's enterprise offerings are widely regarded as the juiciest parts of its product portfolio.

"This is to expand our customer and partner outreach," Radware COO Ilan Kinreich told TheStreet.com in a telephone call from Israel. "Alteon has a pretty strong brand and loyalty with customers, and we believe that, with our expertise, we can leverage that."

With clouds of uncertainty still hanging over the tech sector, Radware seized the opportunity to strengthen its product arsenal against rivals such as Cisco ( CSCO), Citrix ( CTXS) and F5 Networks ( FFIV), according to Kinreich.

"We believe that this is a move that puts us in a stronger position in the market and will give us more growth in very challenging times," he says.

The Alteon switches, which are used to relieve the strain on groups of servers, will eventually be offered under a merged brand, called Radware Alteon, and the Israeli firm is keen to win hearts and minds among the Nortel customer base.

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