Can a creative, quick-thinking band of former Nortel Network executives save the company, and in the process also further elevate Canadian pride by creating a national broadband infrastructure project that would help Nortel and other Canadian firms? It sounds like a comic book cliffhanger and may yet prove to be too good to be true, but for now it is the most interesting idea that has surfaced since Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection back in January.
The CanWest News Service reports that ex-Nortel executive Robert Ferchat and some other former Nortel folks whose heyday with the company was largely prior to financial trouble that started after the turn of the millennium are trying to raise at least $1 billion in U.S. investment money to buy Nortel intact out of bankruptcy, while also pitching the Canadian government to create a national infrastructure project that would be funded in part by hundreds of millions of dollars of government tax credits that Nortel itself has earned in the past through its research investments. If Nortel is broken up and sold for parts before emerging from bankruptcy, the tax credits likely would go to waste.
There reportedly have been other firms from outside Canada looking to buy various pieces of Nortel, so this may be just one proposal of many, but if it pans out, it would be a nice way to keep a storied telecom firm alive and with a purpose.
- The Ottawa Citizen has this CanWest News Service story
Nortel reported a $507 million loss in the first quarter