Bankrupt Nortel to Sell Venture Capital Stakes

Bankrupt Nortel Networks is selling its stakes in 20 venture capital funds as it tries to add to the more than $3 billion already raised to pay off creditors.

The Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review, citing a court filing, says affiliates of Credit Suisse Group and Willowridge Partners won bidding with an offer worth almost $23 million. Nortel wants the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to approve the sale without another auction, since the venture capital stakes were part of a competitive sale process, Dow Jones said.

Willowridge buys institutional stakes such as Nortels when the holdings prove problematic to convert into cash.

Nortel first started investing in venture capital funds in 1997 as a way to get access to early-stage communications technology, Dow Jones said. But after Nortels January 2009 bankruptcy, the once-venerable telecom equipment maker has been auctioning off its various assets. Theres still no word, however, on what Nortel will do with its valuable patents portfolio. Thats said to be worth about $1 billion.

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