Four suit­ors ex­press an in­ter­est in Forth­net stake


Trou­bled al­ter­na­tive telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider Forth­net has four suit­ors – two from the in­dus­try (Voda­fone and Wind) and two oth­ers which have not been named but are pri­vate eq­uity funds with a strate­gic in­ter­est.

The ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est in ac­quir­ing Forth­net – owner of the Nova satel­lite TV plat­form – were made last Fri­day, as con­sul­tant No­mura had dic­tated.

Forth­net’s cred­i­tor banks, which have now trans­formed the debt into shares, are about to be­gin a for­mal pro­ce­dure for the sale of their com­bined 33 per­cent stake in the tele­com that will al­low for bind­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est.

The banks are ea­ger to find an in­vestor quickly and a well-in­formed source said that their ob­jec­tive is to have this process com­pleted by the end of the year. If that doesn’t hap­pen, the banks have agreed to se­cu­ri­tize the com­pany’s en­tire con­vert­ible debt and take con­trol of over 90 per­cent of Forth­net, im­pos­ing their choices and ap­point­ing their pre­ferred man­age­ment. Un­til then they have com­mis­sioned Deloitte to mon­i­tor the day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties of the en­ter­prise.

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