Nortel’s Vague Repayment Filing Keeps U.S. Creditors in the Dark

Nortel Networks Inc. creditors waiting to be repaid by the U.S. division of the bankrupt telecom giant have yet to learn how much theyll get. 

Earlier this week, Nortel filed its plan to repay creditors with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court but didnt say how it will divide the proceeds from selling its assts, Bloombergs BusinessWeek reported. Nortel Networks Corp. in Canada went bankrupt in January 2009 and spent the following year auctioning its units; those sales have raised about $2.8 billion, but the parent company still hasnt said how it will end its bankruptcy status.

Nortel did say, however, that it doesnt know what it wants to do with its patents. The vendor could make up to $1.1 billion by selling its intellectual property, analysts have said. BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is rumored to be the top contender for Nortels wireless patents.

Nortel holds the rights to 4,500 patents and has more than 1,000 additional applications in the pipeline, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data. A potential buyer will be most interested in the next-generation properties, such as 4G and IP-related technologies. Nortel told the court it could liquidate its patent holdings, just as its done with other assets, or license them.

Theres no indication when Nortel Networks Inc. might detail its creditor-repayment intentions.

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