Administrators for Iaxis in talks with a 'number of possible buyers'

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The Independent Online

A failure to communicate with creditors was being blamed last night for Iaxis being placed in administration. The provider of telecoms network infrastructure on the Continent, which once had plans for a £1bn plus flotation, has net debts of $200m (£138m).

A failure to communicate with creditors was being blamed last night for Iaxis being placed in administration. The provider of telecoms network infrastructure on the Continent, which once had plans for a £1bn plus flotation, has net debts of $200m (£138m).

Ray Dutton, the founder of Iaxis who left the company in December, said company management had refused to meet with creditors when requested to do so last week. Faced with court petitions from at least two creditors, Iaxis management sought administrative protection. The court petitions followed attempts to raise funding from existing as well as new investors, on top of earlier investment of £200m.

Steven Pearson, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, who has taken control of the London-based company, said: "At the moment we're trying to sell the business to a number of possible buyers. We would hope it would be done in a matter of weeks." Among those believed to be looking at a purchase, which could generate £20m-£40m, is Deutsche Telekom.

The Dutch parent, Iaxis NV, in which Mr Dutton owns 20 per cent, is owed about £81m. Other creditors include suppliers such as Nortel Networks and Ciena, a Nasdaq listed firm, which has taken a £19.4m charge. Investors include private equity firm Chiltern Group, GE Capital and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.

Negative sentiment arising from the news saw the FTSE 350 telecoms sector index fall 3.5 per cent. Hardest hit were the smaller alternative carriers. Redstone Telecom fell 20.5p to 324.5p, Thus slid 7.75p to 139p, while Fibrenet lost 167.5p to 1927.5p.

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