Optical/IP Networks

Proxim Faces D-Day

Struggling wireless kit vendor Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX) is planning to make an announcement on its future today, Unstrung has learned. The firm has been trying to put together a buyout deal but looks to be staring bankruptcy in the face, according to sources.

Proxim -- formerly second only to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL) in enterprise wireless LAN equipment sales -- has struggled to keep pace with rivals in this fast-moving market over the last couple of years.

Meanwhile, corporate investors Broadview Capital Partners and Warburg Pincus are due millions if Proxim does sell up. And the company's legal settlement with Symbol in September last year requires the firm to pay Symbol $22.75 million over the next two-and-a-half years (see Proxim Has a Debt Dilemma ).

Earlier this month, Proxim said it would seek bankruptcy protection this quarter if it didn't find a buyer or get more funding (see Proxim on the Ropes).

A source tells Unstrung that Proxim has been in talks with Moseley Wireless Solutions Group about a possible buyout. "If they can get a deal done, it would have to involve restructuring terms of [the] Warburg and Symbol obligations."

But it is not clear if an eleventh-hour deal has been struck, according to the source. Nobody from Moseley was available for comment.

Another source suggests Proxim could announce tomorrow it will seek bankruptcy protection to "get out from under."

A spokeswoman for Proxim hinted we should watch the company Website for updates. "I cannot answer that question, because there's nothing on the Website," she told Unstrung.

The firm's shares, which were worth over $250 at their high point in 2000, languished at $0.32 at the close of the day on Wednesday.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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