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Talks extended over Nortel assets

NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

More than 100 lawyers and accountants representing hedge funds, pensioners and other creditors of Nortel Networks Corp. are to continue meeting next week in an effort to divide up the company's remaining $9-billion.

A week of closed-door talks held at a downtown Toronto hotel was scheduled to end Friday. But a spokesman for Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler, who is overseeing the mediation effort to break the logjam, said the parties will now continue meeting until Tuesday at noon.

Nortel entered insolvency proceedings in Canada and the U.S. in 2009. After selling its assets and its valuable patent portfolio, the company's creditors around the world have clashed in a tangled dispute over how the spoils should be divided.

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The bankruptcy battle pits the company's bondholders, who are seeking up to a $1-billion in interest payments, against Nortel's pensioners and disabled former employees, who saw their benefits slashed after the company collapsed.

The Nortel mediation began on Monday, as not-guilty verdicts were delivered in a Toronto courtroom in the fraud case against three former Nortel executives.

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