Anyone who isn't in the process of moving away from KQ/Ebone is
in deep trouble and should act now to ensure you get on the
list of an alternative nearer the top than the bottom. I've
heard reports from various parts of Europe about issues
and in todays FT it looks like the network will be shutdown
by the NOC employees unless the company is bought outright!
I think this is the article?
Employees of KPNQwest's operations centre in Brussels have threatened to
shut down the internet network on Friday at 5pm local time if the business
does not receive a firm takeover offer.
"We want a deal signed, sealed and delivered or we will shut down," said
Graham Kinsey, a network operator. Mr Kinsey is one of the 350 Ebone
employees who have been working unpaid to keep the network operating since
they were fired last week.
The bank lenders and trustees will today decide how much of the
receivables collected earlier this week will go to Ebone and how much will
be allocated to KPNQwest. The trustees had hoped to collect enough money
to keep the businesses running until July 1, but fell short of that
goal. There should be enough money to keep the business operational for
the next couple of weeks, said someone close to the company.
The lenders and trustees hope the cash injection will be enough to appease
the employees, as a buyer would be likely to pay less for a "dark" network
that has been shut down. The Ebone network was acquired by KPNQwest in
March as part of the GTS takeover.
Mr Kinsey said the employee unions plan to walk out on any deal short of a
sale, because a sale is the only way all of the employees would keep their
jobs. He said the trustees asked the union for a list of 40 key people who
could keep the network running if there was not enough money to pay all of
them. But the employees would rather all walk out than be divided, he
KPNQwest on Thursday received more than 40 indictive bids for all or part
of the company. Nearly all of the large international telecoms companies
were expected to express interest. The company and its advisers at Bear
Stearns will review the offers this week and will next week tell the
bidders how the sale will proceed and what assets will be grouped together
"It's like a Chinese menu element to the transaction" with different
parties choosing to make an offer for different pieces, said someone close
to the situation. Ebone internet network customers include AT&T, Cable &
Wireless, and Deutsche Telekom.