VoIP Systems

Newport Clings On

1:20 PM -- Session border controller (SBC) vendor Newport Networks plc (London: NNG) is hanging on by a slender thread -- and that thread comes from the sock drawer of the firm's chairman and chief financial backer, Sir Terry Matthews.

The firm has secured a £2 million ($3.9 million) loan facility from Sir Terry's investment firm, Wesley Clover Corp., to keep itself afloat while it does two things: Look for a new CEO to replace John Everard, who is being shunted upstairs to become vice chairman; and pray that new partner Nokia Networks can put some business its way. (See Nokia Siemens' Lifeline for Newport.)

And Newport, basically, needs any business it can lay its hands on. The vendor just reported annual revenues of £131,000 ($258,000) and a loss of £8.6 million ($17 million). (See Newport Networks Reports 2007.)

That's a deep hole to climb out of -- yet Matthews refuses to let the company go under, for now at least. You have to admire his perseverance.

Wonder how many folk will apply for the CEO position...?

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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