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Telergy has requested bankruptcy protection while officials pursue a deal to free the struggling telecommunications company from $620 million in debt.

The Chapter 11 petition filed late Friday afternoon in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Utica will put creditors on hold, giving Telergy, which has operations in Buffalo, 120 days to file a reorganization plan.

James Harris, appointed two months ago to run Telergy, told The Post-Standard in Syracuse that he is in discussions with bankers and an investment group and he hopes that will lead to an agreement enabling the company to survive.

Harris revealed few details, but confirmed that the deal would probably involve two key components: Telergy's lenders would forgive some or all of the company's $380 million in secured debt in exchange for an ownership stake; an investor group would put new money in.

In August and September, Telergy laid off 448 workers. It now has 138 employees. Harris of Seneca Financial Group was hired to run the company after the company's founders, senior executives and board resigned.

Calpers, Rreef buy Cabot Trust

BOSTON (Bloomberg) -- The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, and Rreef America LLC of Chicago agreed to acquire Cabot Industrial Trust for $2.1 billion to boost their real estate holdings in markets such as Seattle, Phoenix and South Florida.

CalWest Industrial Properties LLC, the joint venture between Calpers and Rreef, will buy Cabot for $24 a share -- 20 percent above the real estate investment trust's closing price. CalWest will pay cash and also assume about $925 million of debt and preferred securities, the Wall Street Journal said earlier today.

Calpers, with managed assets of about $151 billion, last year put more money in real estate and other so-called alternative investments to reduce its exposure to slumping stock markets. The pension fund's investments lost 7.2 percent of their value in the 12 months ended June 30, while the U.S. benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 stock index tumbled 16 percent.

Microtune acquires Transilica

PLANO, Texas (Bloomberg) -- Microtune Inc., a provider of radio-frequency tuners for cable modems and digital televisions, agreed to buy closely held Transilica Inc. for about $155 million in stock.

Transilica shareholders will receive 19.99 percent of Microtune's common stock outstanding, or about 7.95 million shares. Microtune has about 39.75 million shares outstanding, according to a July filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

EMC to debut new software

HOPKINTON, Mass. (Bloomberg) -- EMC Corp. today will unveil its first software that runs on data-storage machines from rivals, which may hurt the company's hardware sales and boost competition with Veritas Software Corp., analysts said.

Cost-conscious customers may use EMC software with cheaper machines from rivals such as International Business Machines Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., analysts said. EMC's refrigerator-size machines can cost several million dollars.

More than half of EMC's sales come from hardware and about 20 percent from software. Hardware profits are falling as companies cut prices to try to take sales from EMC, the market leader.

Nestle eyes Haagen-Dazs

VEVEY, Switzerland (Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA, the biggest foodmaker, wants to buy the 50 percent it doesn't own in a venture that sells Haagen-Dazs ice cream in the United States, according to spokesman Marcel Rubin.

Nestle has the right to take over the venture if there is a change in ownership of Haagen-Dazs. It came into effect Oct. 24 when General Mills' purchase of Pillsbury, the owner of Haagen-Dazs, was approved by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Nestle is in talks with General Mills, according to Rubin.

The Swiss company and Haagen-Dazs merged their U.S. ice-cream units in 1999 to become No. 3 in that market. Nestle this month said it bought Suedzucker AG's Schoeller ice-cream unit as it chases the world leader, Unilever.

"We will exercise our call option on this 50 percent of Ice Cream Partners USA," said Rubin. "We now have to discuss the price and the conditions."

This week in business . . .

Major business and economic events scheduled for the week.

Tuesday -- The Conference Board releases results of its monthly survey on consumer confidence.

Wednesday -- Commerce Department releases third-quarter gross domestic product report.

Thursday -- Labor Department releases weekly report on initial jobless claims. Commerce Department releases September reports on construction spending and personal income and spending. National Association of Purchasing Management issues its monthly report on the manufacturing sector. Automakers release October sales figures.

Friday -- Labor Department releases October employment report. Commerce Department releases September factory orders.

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