TORONTO - Ongoing mediation talks on the division of nearly $9 billion in assets from the now-defunct Nortel Networks Corp. have been extended into next week.

The proceedings, which began this week and were supposed to finish up Friday in Toronto, have now been scheduled to continue until next Tuesday.

The discussions are being led by Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler, who will attempt to settle creditor claims against the former telecom manufacturing giant in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.

The complex process currently involves about 100 interested parties, including Nortel pensioners, disabled former employees, bond holders, trade creditors and governments.

Winkler has previously said that this will be a difficult task because the claims are greater than the firm's residual assets.

This will be the third effort to mediate settlements.

On Monday, three former Nortel executives were acquitted of fraud charges nearly a decade after being accused of falsifiying financial records at the beleaguered company.

Ex-CEO Frank Dunn, ex-CFO Douglas Beatty and ex-controller Michael Gollogly were fired from Nortel in 2004 and charged with two counts of fraud each.

The charges stemmed from allegations they were involved in a book-cooking scheme to trigger $12.8 million in bonuses and stock payments to themselves.