Zafirovski Comes To Ottawa

I attended a Canadian Parliamentary Finance Committee yesterday at which Mike Zafirovski, the CEO of Nortel, defended bonuses for execs, and Nortel Pensioners presented their case. One headline read "Zafirovski faces MPs, angry Nortel pensioners".

You can read Zafirovski's opening remarks yourself.

The stated perception from Nortel Pensioners was that all of Nortel will be sold off. Mike Zafirovski didn't correct this perception.

Nortel therefore appears to have abandoned the option of taking parts of Nortel out of creditor protection as many companies have done (e.g. Air Canada); preferring to sell off Nortel to other companies (e.g. SEN) or to private investors.

The Pensioner concerns with the options being pursued by Nortel were that the pension fund would be converted to annuities (at currently very low rates), and be put low on the list of creditors. Hence, they were pushing to make pensions a high priority creditorthrough legislative action (as has been done in other countries) and to keep the pension fund solvent with its investments in equities and bonds.

What form Nortel takes going forward is perhaps less of a concern to customers, who want solid solutions from a company with a vision and strong future.

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