NETHERLANDS – Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP is the lead plaintiff in a suit seeking 156 million euros against embattled Canadian phone equipment firm Nortel Networks.

“ABP, together with other investors, is going to participate in a class action against Nortel Networks,” the 150 billion-euro Dutch civil service pension fund said in a statement on its web site.

ABP said it hopes this action to recover part of the “substantial investment loss” it says it incurred from February 16 February 2001 to April 2004 28. It did not name the other investors in the suit.

The scheme said: “According to ABP this loss was incurred due to the circumstance that in said period investment decisions were based on (financial) information which was made available to the public by Nortel and turned out to be incorrect.”

Nortel is embroiled in an accounting scandal which has seen its top managers fired amid investigations by US and Canadian regulators. Nortel's spokesperson in Canada was not immediately available for comment.

“By opting for the status of lead plaintiff ABP expects it will be able to positively influence the amount that ultimately will become available for distribution among the investors.” ABP played an active role in actions against AOL Time Warner and Qwest.

Nortel said today that it won't finish a restatement of its 2003 and first-quarter results in the second quarter. “We are making progress toward completing the restatement of our financials, but this is a complex process and there is significant work yet to be done,'' said chief executive Bill Owens.

Owens, who was commander of the US Sixth Fleet during the first Gulf War, took over from CEO Frank Dunn last month. Dunn was fired along with chief financial officer Douglas Beatty and controller Michael Gollogly following the scandal.