Lucent Technologies has put up $170 million to acquire "substantially all" of the business operations of Riverstone Networks, a routing specialist based in Santa Clara, Calif.

The deal, announced Tuesday, does not include Riverstone's cash and convertible subordinated notes.

Riverstone said it will conduct the sale under Chapter 11, and intends to satisfy its remaining non-operating liabilities, including payment of its convertible subordinated notes in the amount of $65.8 million, and distribute its remaining cash to Riverstone's shareholders as part of a liquidation plan.

Lucent and Riverstone are not strangers. Over the last year, they have collaborated on the development of high-end Ethernet routers.

Once the deal is sealed, Riverstone will become part of Lucent's Multimedia Networks Solutions division. Most of Riverstone's employees are expected to join Lucent, the companies said.

"With Lucent, we will not be better able to address our customers' needs and to extend Riverstone's technology leadership into new markets while also keeping our development cycles on a fast track," said Riverstone President & CEO Oscar Rodriguez.

In the early part of the decade, Riverstone was heavily involved in the cable DOCSIS market. It marketed a cable modem termination system (CMTS) and, for a time, had CMTS reseller agreements in place with Tellabs Inc. and Terayon Communication Systems.