360networks gains time in British Columbia

Struggling 360networks announced Friday that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has extended the order providing the company protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) December 31, 2001.

In a statement Greg Maffei, president and CEO of 360networks, said he was pleased that the company’s secured lenders and the Canadian court have extended the company’s order. Maffei said the extension would provide the company time to restructure its business plan in North America and sell key assets outside the United States and Canada.

The restructuring plan entails constructing and lighting an optical mesh network in North America and continuing to provide broadband services to 360network customers, Maffei added.

The court order includes a cash budget through 2001. At this time, 360networks said it does not anticipate needing debtor-in-possession financing.

Last month, 360networks Inc., along with several of its subsidiaries and affiliates, filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the United States [see story – 360networks files for bankruptcy].

The company said it would use its US$155 million of unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and marketable securities on hand to fund ongoing operations in the two countries and to complete key segments in its network.

As part of its restructuring, last month, the company announced it would slash its workforce by nearly half, shedding 800 jobs worldwide [See story – 360networks announces job cuts].

The company had promoted an ambitious plan to link some 100 major cities in North America, Europe, South America and Asia with a network spanning approximately 140,000 kilometres, but ran up against declining telecommunication sales and unfriendly capital markets.

Based in Burnaby B.C. 360networks can be reached at http://www.360networks.com.

– With files from Rick Perera IDG News Service.