Euro WiMax Operator Goes Insolvent

2:25 PM -- While in the U.S. Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) is reportedly about receive $1.5 billion from its partners, one of Europe's regional WiMax operators is in a less fortunate position. (See Report: Clearwire to Get $1.5B Funding Bump.)

Austria-based WiMAX Telecom GmbH is restructuring its debt and talking to potential investors, after filing for insolvency at the end of October. Managing director Peter Ziegelwanger tells Unstrung that "continuation of the business is critical" during the restructuring and that "it might look better afterwards." WiMAX Telecom, which is majority-owned by NextWave Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: WAVE), has operations in Austria, Croatia, and Slovakia offering mainly fixed WiMax services at 3.5 GHz. Ziegelwanger says that NextWave has been looking for new investors for WiMAX Telecom for more than a year. The operator has 3,000 subscribers in Austria and about 3,000 customers in Croatia. (See Croatia Gets Mobile WiMax, NextWave Buys Into More Euro WiMax, and Euro WiMax M&A Action.)

The operator was forced to file for insolvency when, after several postponements, it could not pay a bill for WiMax equipment and services, which was due to Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) on October 31, according to Ziegelwanger.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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