McDonald's to Begin Accepting Nortel Shares
The last 18 months have been tumultuous for high-tech giant Nortel: the cutting of its global workforce by more than half from 96,000 to 47,000, the abrupt departure of its CEO, massive quarterly losses in the billions, and a severe drop in share prices, to name but a few. However, the company might be turning the tables with its new effort to bolster investor confidence.
It's like that Petro-Points thing at Petro Canada where after 40,000 litres of gas you can get like a lighter, or a bottle of water or something...."
-Nortel Vice-President of Grilling and Deep Frying Isabelle Egad
Yesterday, the company announced a partnership deal with McDonald's Restaurants of Canada, in which shareholders will be able to purchase discounted meals in exchange for cashing in their Nortel shares.
As of May 1, participating McDonald's restaurants will be accepting 100 shares of the company's stock in exchange for a 50 per cent discount on a Big Mac or McChicken combination meal, complete with medium fries and beverage, according to Nortel Vice-President of Grilling and Deep Frying Isabelle Egad.
Nortel shareholders will be able to 'super-size' their meals for an additional 50 shares, according to Egad.
As Nortel's stock price dropped from a high of $125 in July 2000 to 1/8th of one cent (Cdn.) at the close of markets yesterday, many frustrated Nortel investors have pointed accusatory fingers at the company's management, blaming them for the free fall in the stock's value. Shareholder activist Frank McMorgan of Bathurst, New Brunswick has been a vocal critic of the company in recent months, but he expressed guarded optimism with the announcement.
A Nortel investor cashes his portfolio in for a Quarter-Pounder combo at a Toronto-area McDonald's yesterday.
"A drunk donkey could do just as well," added the professor as he threw darts at a board in his office while enjoying a Chicken McNugget meal, which cost him only 300 shares in the company.
A spokesperson for McDonald's indicated that the company will be using all of the Nortel share certificates collected during the promotion to wrap Big Mac burgers, and will not, contrary to rumours simply be chucking them in the garbage. "It's a great cross-promotion," said the spokesperson of the new Nortel-themed burgers. "Not only do we save on costs, but Nortel gets some free adertising out of it as well."
The company spokesperson also indicated that McDonald's of Canada is in similar discussions with Ottawa-based tech companies JDS Uniphase and Corel.
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