BusinessBusiness RecoveryGlobal Crossing’s UK network up for sale

Global Crossing's UK network up for sale

Bankrupt telecom giant Global Crossing is planning to sell its UK data network business as part of a series of sales it hopes will enable it to put together a restructuring plan that will keep the company largely in one piece.

The bankrupt company is set to go on the auction block on 8 July with bidders open to buy all or part of the international carrier’s business. But having cut operating costs with a few sales and new investors the company now believes it will be able to put forward its own restructuring plan.

Key to that plan will be finding a buyer for the UK data network acquired from Racal for $1.4bn (£950m). According to the company, 40% of its UK customers – which include the UK government, the National Lottery and the National Westminster bank – have three-to-four years left on their service contracts.

‘We are in the process to see what the market will offer for the UK business, but there has been a lot of interested parties so far,’ said Chris Nash, senior VP of corporate development at Global Crossing.

Other ‘non-core’ businesses the company wants to sell are the Marine division acquired from Cable & Wireless for $880m (£603m) three years ago and Global Crossing’s conferencing unit.

Global Crossing maintains that selling the units means it can work with investors interested in a consortium bid to be considered on 8 July alongside any other bids.

Global Crossing’s new upbeat analysis of its predicament came after the only bidders for the bankrupt carrier walked away from the proposal.

After five months of talks, Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia killed their $750m (£514m) offer for a 79% stake in the company. They did not rule out bidding on all or part of the company at auction.

Global Crossing listed $12bn (£8.2bn)in assets although it also has $22bn (£15bn) in liabilities in its bankruptcy filings made in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

‘The business is worth more than $750m (£514m) but finding another buyer may not be possible,” said Kate Gerwig, principal analyst at CurrentAnalysis.

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