L&H appeals bankruptcy protection denial ruling

Belgian speech technology firm Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV (L&H) will appeal a local court’s decision announced Friday to deny it bankruptcy protection, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The appeal for concordaat

– Belgium’s version of bankruptcy protection

will be heard by a court in the Belgian town of Ghent within seven days, L&H said.

“The board and I remain convinced that the best solution for the company is joint protection in the U.S. and Belgium. We now have additional time to explain the current business plan to the court and to confirm the value of L&H’s worldwide assets,” John Duerden, the president and chief executive officer of L&H, said in the statement.

Negotiations are being finalized with a leading investment bank to assist the company in this process, Duerden added.

On Friday, a court in Ieper denied L&H’s request for concordaat.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Belgian court froze L&H’s assets, agreeing with legal representations made on behalf of shareholders that there was a strong possibility that L&H management would try to dismantle the company.

Lernout & Hauspie, with dual headquarters in Ieper, Belgium and Burlington, Mass., can be reached at http://www.lhsl.com/.

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