October 7, 2016 / 11:27 PM / 3 years ago

Nortel units seek more time for talks to split $7.3 billion

File photograph of a sign outside Nortel's Carling Campus in Ottawa July 24, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Units of former telecommunications equipment giant Nortel Networks said on Friday they need more time for talks to try to reach deal on divvying up $7.3 billion raised from liquidating the failed company.

A letter filed with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals by a lawyer for Nortel requested an additional 30 days to continue settlement talks over the funds.

Former Nortel business units in Canada, the United States and Europe have been pushing differing proposals for splitting the money.

The funds came from the sale of Ontario-based Nortel’s global businesses, including patents sold in 2011 for $4.5 billion to a group of technology firms led by Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Sony Corp (6758.T).

The proceeds triggered one of the most expensive and complex cross-border legal battles in history.

Fees for lawyers and advisers paid out of the Nortel estate have topped $1.9 billion, according to Diane Urquhart, a financial analyst who compiles the data from court records.

Nortel was among the world’s most valuable companies during the 1990s’ Internet bubble, but it fell into bankruptcy in 2009 and into liquidation.

An agreement would clear the way for pensioners and bondholders to get paid after a seven-year wait.

Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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