As the once-great telephone equipment manufacturer Nortel filed for bankruptcy yesterday, fund managers recall the company’s heyday and what it meant for Canada.
Bloomberg: 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.”…
The bankruptcy filing is “a blow to the Canadian psyche,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier Inc. in Toronto, which manages C$3 billion. “We once viewed Nortel as a world leader in the technology area, and now that dream is shattered.”
Nortel’s decision, following the takeovers of Canadian firms such as aluminium maker Alcan Inc. and miner Falconbridge Ltd., means another Canada-based global leader is about to disappear, according to Louis Hébert, a professor of management strategy at the HEC Montreal business school.
“There goes another marquee name,” Hébert said. “Now we will only have two world leaders,” he said, citing Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry e-mail phone, and the plane and trainmaker Bombardier Inc.
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