Interoute's Back From the Dead
Thanks to the settlement between Interoute and Alcatel, Interoute has, in just a few days, gone from putting itself up for sale to talking tall about buying other companies. "We're really excited about this settlement, because it puts us in a fantastic position," says Matthew Finnie, Interoute's senior VP of market development. "It's a great time to buy and now that we're back on track... our future growth is not just [coming from] organic service growth, but also [from] acquisition."
The financial terms of the agreement between Interoute and Alcatel were not disclosed. Interoute, however, maintains it was Alcatel that was holding up its progress. "Getting funding from Sandoz Family Foundation [Interoute's largest backer] was never an issue," Finnie says. "That was the bizarre thing in this whole ordeal. What was at issue was restructuring an out-of-date agreement that every other telecom operator in the world had restructured."
That said, Interoute's relationship with Alcatel as a carrier to a vendor hasn't changed. However, "From a vendor-financing perspective, the relationship has changed considerably," Finnie says.
Alcatel won't be providing any further financing for Interoute, he reveals.
Interoute also confirms it had to trim its ranks when negotiations with Alcatel hit the wall. "Because of the previous collapse we laid off 250 people, so we're now rehiring," Finnie explains. He says there's no telling how many the company will hire back.
Lastly, Finnie brags that service interruptions were kept to a minimum during the receivership. "Our customers were very good," he says. "By and large they really stuck with us.
"If Interoute had gone away, it would have come down to very few suppliers in Europe... and having just one [independent carrier] with a handful of incumbents doesn't do it for Europe anymore."
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading