Nortel mulls over restructuring plan

Currently under bankruptcy protection, the networking vendor is working on reorganization strategy. For now, it's "business as usual", says company's Asian execs.

PHILIPPINES--Nortel Networks is currently working on a business plan as part of a restructuring exercise the company will be implementing, according to company executives.

The business plan will be submitted to the company's credit committee, which will then make the assessment and evaluation, Mark Fioretto, Nortel's South Asia vice president for enterprise, said at a media briefing here Wednesday.

Until then, Fioretto stressed, it is "business as usual" for the networking equipment maker and nothing changes, as far as business operations are concerned. The executive did not disclose any other details on the business plan.

He added that he could not ascertain when the business plan will take effect or how it will affect the organization, noting only that these processes could take between 45 and 120 days.

To date, no details or announcements have been made regarding the business plan.

Nortel last month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in a move deemed to help shield the company from creditors. The company filed Chapter 11 in the United States, Canada and Europe.

According to Fioretto, the filing has not affected Nortel's day-to-day operations.

Various news reports said the Chapter 11 filing was a precursor to a massive reorganization, which could see the company selling some of its assets and trimming its global workforce.

But, Fioretto dismissed the reports, saying that "there is nothing final yet".

"We cannot comment on these rumors," he said, and added that Nortel will continue to work with some of its major partners, including IBM and Microsoft, on releasing products and services for the global market.

In the Philippines, meanwhile, Nortel said it has assured its clients that operations will proceed as planned. Mandy Pascual, the company's Philippines country manager for enterprise, said Nortel continues to win contracts, even after news about the Chapter 11 filing surface.

"Most of our customers expressed support, after the announcement was made," Pascual said, adding that the Nortel recently bagged significant deals from the local business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

However, he said the company is unable to disclose further details of the new contracts wins, pending clearance from the clients.

Pascual added that in light of the economic slowdown, Nortel Philippines will actively pursue "pockets of opportunities" in the country.

He said the company also plans to initiate an expansion plan for areas in the Philippines that it has yet to penetrate.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.


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