Rather than spin it off with what used to be Western Electric Corp, AT&T Corp has decided to seek a buyer its Largo, Florida-based Paradyne data communications equipment business. Paradyne has 1,300 employees and annual sales of around $300m from 90 countries. By separating from AT&T, Paradyne avoids possible conflicts in selling to AT&T’s competitors, yet AT&T will still have access to Paradyne’s current and future products and technologies as a customer, explained John Berndt, president of AT&T Multimedia Ventures & Technologies. Paradyne is currently unprofitable, sources close to the deal told Reuters, but AT&T declined to comment. Berndt said AT&T aims to develop a preferred supplier relationship with Paradyne, which was acquired in 1989 for $250m when it was at a low ebb after a run-in with Uncle Sam over a Department of Health contract that went wrong.The offering and subsequent inquiries will be handled by Morgan Stanley & Co, it said.