Nortel Files for Bankruptcy Protection!

15 01 2009

In another incident of the worsening global recession Nortel Networks Corp, North America’s biggest maker of telephone equipment, filed for bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Delaware, amid the global credit crunch and declining sales.

Nortel, based in Toronto, had more than $1 billion in assets and debt, according to today’s Chapter 11 filing of its US subsidiary. The company said that several Canadian affiliates will also seek court protection.

Canadian investor Gavin Graham recalls the time when Nortel Networks Corp. was so big, with a market value of almost $250 billion, that fund managers had to own shares just to keep up with the benchmark index.

“You were pilloried if you didn’t own the stock,” said Graham, who helps oversee more than $30 billion as director of investments at Bank of Montreal Asset Management in Toronto. “Nowadays, I try not to embarrass people by asking who still owns Nortel.”

Nortel, North America’s biggest maker of telephone equipment, in business for 113 years, filed for bankruptcy protection today, capping one of the greatest corporate collapses in Canadian history. The stock fell 69 percent to 12 cents by 4:15 p.m. in trading today on the Toronto Stock Exchange, for a market value of C$60 million ($48 million).

At its peak in 2000, Nortel had annual revenue of $28 billion and employed about 93,000 people in more than 150 countries. The stock traded as high as C$1,245, adjusting for stock splits, for a market value of C$366 billion, making it the biggest company in Canada. The shares quadrupled in 1999 on expectations the Toronto-based phone equipment maker would benefit from the surge in demand for Internet-based technology.

Nortel accounted for 37 percent of the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 Composite Index, as it was called then. That created a problem for Canadian mutual fund managers, since Canadian law bars mutual funds from holding more than 10 percent of assets in any one stock.

Source:  Bloomberg

See also a timeline of events in the company here.





Sony cuts 8000 jobs!

9 12 2008

In what seems like another Japanese company in trouble, citing falling revenues and stronger yen, Sony Corporation plans to cut 8000 jobs. This results in them reducing their investment by 30 % in the electronics business by the fiscal end of 2010.

Sony has about 160,00 employees as of now and aims to save upwards of 100 billion yen (roughly $ 1.1 billion) by such measures which also include shutting down manufacturing plants.

This news comes after the surprise pullout of Honda from F1 citing the same reasons which was unexpected given the reaction of the FIA.

Wipro in India is also cutting costs by recruting engineers for it’s BPO division instead of the engineering division. Although the company says it will ensure that these jobs will count as valid work experience for an engineering role in the future, the situation remain bleak for the company. In a related story on IBN the BPO companies are themselves looking for a bailout from the government. According to NASSCOM the Indian BPO sector employs roughly 700,000 people. Due to the current recession, cuts of about 250,000 jobs starting 2009 is expected. Thats a whopping 35% reduction in number of employees.

Some experts suggest this recession might last for 10 years!

All I can say is that stick on to your job, cause it just got more valuable.

Do let me know how the recession is affecting you..wherever you are.





Formula 1 – A distant Dream..

8 12 2008

The news is abuzz as far F1 is concerned.  Honda pulls out of the sport citing recession and increasing costs. Their spending increased about 30% from last year with a total of approximately $ 300 million. Sad news indeed…but thats the state of the economy now. Even big companies like Honda can’t survive the bad times.

However that’s not why I have written this post. What I wanted to share was this..

The Spa Exit

The Spa Exit

This is probably the closest I will get to a Formula 1 track..

We were on our way to Luxemborg from Netherlands and we passed the Belgian Grandprix Circuit exit on the freeway…and I thought someday Ill be take that exit and watch a race in person.

but right now it remains..but a distant dream..

But all was not lost…Luxemborg is a beautiful place and a must see stop for poeple travelling in Europe. Here is a picture taken by Tilak who was travelling with us.

What a view!

What a view!

It sums up the place quite nicely I think.