Signaling renewed interest of private equity firms in the telecom equipment market, a private equity consortium consisting of Silver Lake and the Texas Pacific Group (TPG) agreed to acquire Avaya, a major supplier of IPbased equipment for corporate networks, in a cash deal worth $8.2 billion. Announced on Monday, the transaction comes on the heels of the announcement of a $27.5 billion buyout of wireless carrier Alltel by TPG and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs. Avaya, based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, had once been a unit of Lucent Technologies. The company generates more than $5 billion in annual revenues, boasts a market capitalization of $7 billion, and serves more than one million customers. Sources indicate that the Silver Lake/TPG offer of $17.50 per share for Avaya edged out at least two other interested parties, including Nortel Networks Corp. The agreement also leaves open the possibility of new bids, as Avaya is permitted to solicit competing offers or to respond to unsolicited proposals from third parties for a period of 50 days. In the words of one analyst, the Avaya deal “reflects how competitive the private equity market is.”