BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 24 June, 2002, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
KPNQwest struggles on
KPNQwest head office
Is KPNQwest worth more in one piece, or many?
The destiny of KPNQwest, Europe's biggest data carrier, has taken another twist, as ex-employees of the bankrupt firm rallied round to keep it from closing.


The network is alive and kicking, the clients are still there and ex-employees are doing just enough

Joost van Raay, Trimoteur
At the end of last week, KPNQwest's administrators said its data network would have to close after last-ditch talks with the company's banks fell through.

Closing the network could have caused major disruption to about 100,000 corporate clients who use it to access the web, and may even have slowed internet traffic around Europe.

Now, however, former staff have volunteered to keep the network in operation, while administrators and officials from Dutch investment group Trimoteur negotiate over a rescue deal.

Although liquidators initially ordered staff to shut the network down, they now advise that it must be kept in operation in order to avoid technical problems.

Bits and pieces

It is not yet clear how realistic are hopes of a financial rescue.

The firm has received modest offers for pieces of its operations, which cover 21 countries, but Trimoteur is the only party in talks over a wholesale deal for the entire firm.

Trimoteur claims that the complete company is worth three times the sum of its parts.

"The network is alive and kicking, the clients are still there and ex-employees are doing just enough to maintain the network because it is in everybody's best interests," said Trimoteur official Joost van Raay.

Representatives of KPNQwest administrators from all its countries of operation are due to meet on Tuesday, and may then decide whether to sell the firm as a whole or in pieces.

Probe problems

One potential obstacle to any kind of deal could be potential investigations into the company's bankruptcy filing, pushed through in 21 countries on 31 May.

According to a report in the Financial Times, a consortium of banks are to demand a formal accounting probe into the demise of the company.

Their complaint is that KPNQwest management only announced financial problems in April, and even then blamed them only on the global economic slowdown.

According to the newspaper, the banks wish to know to what extent Dutch KPN and US telecoms firm Qwest - the network's parent companies - were involved.

See also:

21 Jun 02 | Business
10 Jun 02 | Business
10 Jun 02 | Business
09 Jun 02 | Business
03 Jun 02 | Business
31 May 02 | Business
28 May 02 | Business
21 May 02 | Business
11 Mar 02 | Business
14 Jun 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes