By The Canadian Press - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 0 Comments
Representatives for disabled ex-Nortel Networks employees have filed a complaint with Canadian and American…
Representatives for disabled ex-Nortel Networks employees have filed a complaint with Canadian and American bankruptcy watchdogs over professional fees paid by the former technology giant’s estate.
The complainants have sent letters to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada and to U.S. Trustee Roberta Deangelis asking for an investigation into the expenses, which they consider “excessive.”
They say the now-defunct company’s court-appointed monitor, Ernst & Young, failed to rein in the ballooning payments that have “materially reduced” Nortel’s assets and the future distribution of cash to its creditors.
More than 100 parties including ex-workers, bondholders, trade creditors and governments are involved in a complex legal battle over the former equipment maker’s $9 billion in residual assets.
Efforts to divide up Nortel’s creditor claims abruptly ended Thursday when the Ontario judge leading the proceedings concluded that there was no sign of a resolution in sight.
One media outlet has reported that the firm has been billed for $755 million worldwide since the negotiations begun.
According to legal documents, U.S. law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, which represented Nortel in mediation, filed $1.25 million in fees in November alone.
At its height in 1999 to 2000, Nortel was worth nearly $300 billion, employed more than 90,000 people worldwide and was regarded as one Canada’s most valuable companies.
In 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy in North America and Europe, shedding thousands of jobs.
On Jan. 14, the former top brass at Nortel were acquitted of fraud charges nearly a decade after being accused of falsifying financial records at the beleaguered company.
Ex-CEO Frank Dunn, ex-CFO Douglas Beatty and ex-controller Michael Gollogly had been fired in 2004 and accused of being involved in a book-cooking scheme to trigger $12.8 million in bonuses and stock payments to themselves.
But a judge found the evidence did not support fraud charges against the executives.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM - 0 Comments
Citizens in Elliot Lake finally get answers and Lance Armstrong comes clean
It’s a welcome sight to see a country other than the United States taking a lead role in the fight against al-Qaeda. France launched air strikes in Mali to head off armed extremists from expanding their grip on the country and over- taking the capital, Bamako. This week, France took the case for intervention to the UN, paving the way for the deployment of African troops to back up Malian forces. Canada also said this week it would send a military transport plane to support the mission. Without France’s bold intervention, the security of North Africa— and, by extension, Europe—would have been at serious risk.
From the rubble
Seven months after their mall caved in, killing two and wounding 20 others, the people of Elliot Lake, Ont., are about to get what they desperately want: answers. Justice Robert Belanger, who will oversee the inquiry into the tragic collapse, announced hearings will begin March 4. The judge also issued an important preliminary ruling, denying a request from the mall’s owner, Bob Nazarian, to keep his finances secret. As Belanger wrote, Nazarian’s bank statements—and how much of that money was spent on main- tenance—are “directly relevant and of significant importance.”
By Chris Sorensen - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 2:40 PM - 10 Comments
Our pension system is a mess, and fixing it won’t be easy
Dale Seto is accustomed to toiling out of the spotlight. Most days, the aircraft mechanic crawls around inside the guts of an Airbus jetliner, grease on his hands. “We’re kind of the underdogs,” says Seto, 57, who has worked for Air Canada for the past two decades. “But in my opinion, we perform the most important function in the entire airline industry, and that’s making sure that the planes are safe and ready to fly.”
Hundreds of thousands of lives depend on the quality of work done by Seto and his colleagues, but he says the industry’s perennial woes means they haven’t had a pay raise in nearly a decade. That helps explain why he and12,000 Air Canada employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers jealously guard their defined benefit pension plans, an increasingly rare species of retirement income in the private sector. More than just a perk, defined benefit plans—in which the employer guarantees retirees a certain level of benefits—are viewed by workers as a key element of overall compensation. Continue…
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 8:20 AM - 35 Comments
Execs get big bonuses, employees get squat; it’s ‘business logic’
If you were to ask the general public how much of a bonus Canwest Global Communications executives deserve for steering the country’s biggest media company into the ground, the answer would fall somewhere between squat and diddly. But according to their bankruptcy protection ﬁling this month, the correct response is $9.8 million.
The Key Employee Retention Plan (KERP) already approved by Canwest’s creditors, and given an initial thumbs-up by the courts, was the subject of “extensive” negotiations from the very beginning of the company’s efforts to extract itself from under its $4-billion debt load last December. Three directors, four top executives and 13 other senior members of management will receive two hefty cash payments—one at the end of this year, the other early next spring—in exchange for sticking around until the streamlined company emerges from the process. The details of just who is receiving the bonuses and how much have been sealed by the court at the company’s request to protect “sensitive personal and financial information.” But it’s clear at least some of the “retentions” will be decidedly short-term as the agreement calls for the three unnamed directors to resign from the Canwest board once the restructuring period ends. Leonard, David and Gail Asper, the children of the late Canwest founder Izzy Asper, are all currently directors, but are expected to have a much reduced role, and ownership stake, in the new company. Continue…
By kadyomalley - Friday, August 7, 2009 at 8:15 AM - 14 Comments
When it comes to special summer emergency committees, liveblogger beggars can’t be choosers, right? The witnesses for today’s meeting hasn’t yet been posted on the parliamentary website, as the committee must first hold a brief, pro forma — and in camera — meeting to vote on the emergency motion, but Canadian Press has the unofficial list of who’s likely to be at the table: “officials from Industry Canada, Ericsson and Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.” Check back at 9am for full coverage!
(And yes, ITQ will do her best to keep her BlackBerry fangirl tendencies under control for the duration of today’s meeting.)
Greetings, fellow committee junkies! Is everyone excited? I hope so, because ITQ can report that the emergency motion passed without a hitch, and the first panel of witnesses — the Nortel Contingent — is already at the table, waiting for the gavel to go down and the meeting to get underway: senior vice-president George Riedel, carrier networks president Richard Lowe and legal counsel Derrick Ray will be fielding questions for the next hour and fifteen minutes.
As for the MP roster, on the opposition side, we have Liberal industry critic Marc Garneau, flanked by Anthony Rota and Martha Hall Findlay. For the Bloc Quebecois, it’s Mario Laframboise and Robert Boucher — and Brian Masse for the NDP.
On the other side of the table, representing for Team Government, we have: Mike Lake, Dave Van Kesteren, whose name I unfailingly misspell, so apologies in advance, Royal Galipeau, Daryl Kramp and Peter Braid, with Michael Chong wielding the gavel.