Global Crossing seeks Chapter 11 protection

The telecoms sector took another battering yesterday (28 January) when Global Crossing filed for Chapter 11 protective...

The telecoms sector took another battering yesterday (28 January) when Global Crossing filed for Chapter 11 protective bankruptcy.

The company's failure follows hard on the heels of problems afflicting UK based second-generation telecoms companies, Energis and NTL in the last seven days.

The company, once worth £35bn, had 85,000 customers stretching from the British government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Land Registry to broadcasters such as CNBC and major financial institution.

Global Crossing laid 1.7 million miles of fibre-optic cable to build an Internet protocol-based network connecting 27 countries and 200 major cities, largely financed through bonds and capital investment from a 1998 initial public offering. Much of that network capacity has been unused.

The company also announced that two Asia-based companies, Hutchinson Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, have pledged to invest £530m in Global Crossing in return for a controlling share of the company. The company now has an estimated debt of $14bn (£9.97bn).

Existing shareholders will lose their entire investment in the company if the ownership deal goes through though the company said there would be no service interruptions and no workers would be laid off in the immediate future.

"[Customers] don't have to worry about service going forward. We don't expect any change in operations", a representative said.

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