A group of former Nortel executives are banding together in an effort to buy the telecommunications gear maker that is trying to reorganize in bankruptcy.

According to James Bagnall of the Ottawa Citizen, He left the company in 1991. Other executives involved are Ian Craig, a former chief marketing officer, and David Mann, a retired vice president.

Bagnall, who has covered for years, said the executives are trying to raise $1 billion from bankers in the U.S.

“If Ferchat succeeds, Nortel Networks Corp. would remain more or less intact and under Canadian control,” Bagnall wrote.

Nortel employs some 30,000 people around the world, including 2,000 at its campus in the Triangle.

If a buyout happens, Bagnall said Ferchat and his team already have plans for management changes.

“Assuming this goes through, which is by no means certain, Ferchat and the new owners would sack current CEO Mike Zafirovski and install a new team of executives,” he said. “Ex-Nortel executives now in their 40s and 50s have been approached to take over the management.”

Nortel is in the process of trying to sell its majority ownership in a joint venture with a Korean firm. The company also has restructured itself internally with a stated intention of selling off business units.

According to Bagnall, Ferchat and allies have met with Canadian government officials about their buyout strategy.

Ferchat told Bagnall that one reason for the interest in buying Nortel is plans by the Canadian government to build a new broadband infrastructure.

This is a huge opportunity we’re trying to scope out,” he said. “This network would be several orders of magnitude faster than existing ones.”