Telecoms equipment vendor Nortel Networks insists it is operating as usual despite filing for creditor protection in Canada, the US and Europe. “Nortel is still very much in business and our commitment to customers remains unwavering,” president and CEO Mike Zafirovski said in a letter on its website. “We will continue to invest in leading edge R&D to deliver the value our customers expect from us.” Zafirovski added that seeking protection from creditors is the right option for the company and “can put Nortel on sound financial footing once and for all,” allowing the company “to become the highly focused and financially sound communications leader it should be.” A Bloomberg report today claims that operator customers Verizon, Sprint Nextel and BCE have said they will maintain ties with Nortel in the near-term.
Bloomberg notes that Nortel has lost about US$7 billion since Zafirovski took over more than three years ago, leading him to cut 18 percent of the workforce to preserve cash. Nortel shares, which reached a high of CAD1,231 (US$987) in July 2000, fell CAD0.27 to CAD0.12 yesterday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. A year ago, the stock closed at CAD12.89.