Olympics' organisers ready to drop Nortel

Organisers of the Olympic Games in London 2012 organisers are ready to approach alternative telecoms companies to take over Nortel's £40m ($58m) Olympic sponsorship contract, people close to the situation said, the Financial Times reports.

Nortel's decision to file for bankruptcy has given Games' organisers their first big corporate fundraising problem, the report says.

Nortel, one of the eight top-tier sponsors signed up by London 2012, said in a statement on Thursday that it was committed to its 2012 contract and being the official provider of network infrastructure.

Privately, London 2012 officials said Plan B would be to go back to rivals that lost out to Nortel in the tier-one sponsorship category open to telecoms companies, Cisco Systems being one of them.

About three-quarters of the £650m sponsorship target has been raised, part of the £2 billion that makes up the budget of Locog, the London organising committee.

Nortel's sponsorship is a mixture of cash and in-kind support. Its payments were made in regular tranches and were up to date, London 2012 said.

The other tier-one sponsors signed up to 2012 are BA, BT, EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB, BP and Adidas.

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