PwC brought in at Atlantic Telecom

The move comes after the board of Atlantic suspended its share dealings earlier in the day.

Atlantic is the first publicly-quoted victim of the telecommunications downturn. The collapse comes after more than a month of negotiations with a group of bondholders failed to deliver a rescue refinancing package.

PwC partners Steven Pearson, Neville Kahn and Iain Bennett were appointed administrators this afternoon by the courts.

Steven Pearson said: ‘The board has worked hard to try and secure a restructuring of the group over recent months and weeks. Unfortunately, the capital markets have been practically closed to alternative telecoms providers. In the time available it was unable to agree terms with its noteholders. The financial position of Atlantic will be clarified over this weekend.’

The Atlantic group, based in Aberdeen, employs 650 staff, with operations in Frankfurt and Rotterdam. It owns and operates a nationwide broadband network and local access networks, built with a combination of fibre and radio technologies, in various towns and cities. It also provides digital subscriber line services in Germany and Holland.

Last month the telecoms operator put itself up for sale, admitting its shares could be worthless. At the close on Thursday the shares were worth just 5p compared to a peak of 1,305p in February 2000.

The collapse will add further woes to troubled telecom equipment maker Marconi which owns 19% of the company.

The administrators said their appointment was necessary to provide further breathing space for the company after it was clear a financial restructuring was not going to be agreed.


Atlantic Telecom online

PwC Global

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