Ontario wants Nortel division sale stopped: report

Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:42am IST

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(Reuters) - Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is pressing the Canadian government to block the proposed $1.13 billion acquisition of Nortel Networks Corp's wireless division, Toronto's Globe and Mail reported on its website.

Duncan told the paper the Ontario government, which is spending billions of dollars to encourage development of high-technology companies, is dismayed that a foreign company would benefit from Nortel's assets.

"We just think that every step should be taken to try to keep these patents in Canadian hands so that industry can continue to develop here in Canada," the paper quoted Duncan as saying.

On July 25, Sweden's Ericsson won an auction for the wireless assets of bankrupt Nortel, paying $1.13 billion and out-bidding its smaller rival Nokia Siemens Networks and private equity firm MatlinPatterson.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; editing by Simon Jessop)

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