Global Garage Sale Coming?

Bankrupt telecom giant Global Crossing Holdings Ltd. announced today that it is developing its own restructuring plan as an alternative to the bids it expects will come in over the next couple of weeks (see GlobalX Touts Own Plan).

The announcement came after this weekend's collapse of the Hutchison Whampoa Ltd./Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte. Ltd. (STT) deal to purchase Global Crossing, which many observers say was the company's only chance at being sold off in one piece and not chopped up and auctioned off (see GlobalX Talks Fall Through).

With no formal bids on the table and such a short time left to try to entice buyers to step up to the plate, Global Crossing creditors risk that the final bid will be worth far less that the one they just turned down, analysts say. While Global Crossing's announcement today may have eased some creditor fears, most observers say they still expect the July 8 auction to turn into a garage sale of the carrier's assets, with creditors getting pennies on the dollar.

Sean Doherty, a managing partner of Venture Asset Group, says that especially in bankrupty cases where there is a lot of debt involved, bankruptcy courts are going to favor bidders offering cash, even if the cash is far less than what the business is worth. "The clock is ticking," he says. "People are going to start making $50 million to $100 million bids, and the judge is going to say OK."

The idea that Global Crossing will be able to pull off its company-sponsored restructuring is far-fetched, says Doherty. "These people are still having the same stupid dreams they had before. They're thinking: 'We'll keep this thing together. It's still worth [$22.4 billion].' That's just moronic."

Others concur that a garage-sale stlye liquidation of Global's assests is likely to be the ultimate resolution.

"Ideally, the company would want to go on operating as is," says Current Analysis analyst Jason Knowles. "But I don't think that will happen… My thought is that the company will be sold off in pieces."

Global Crossing and the Global Crossing Creditor's Committee, however, claim that the new company-sponsored restructuring plan positions it better than ever to emerge with its core global network intact.

In today's announcement, the Bermuda-based carrier said that it believes its cash-cutting efforts -- including massive layoffs and the expected closing of 217 offices before year-end -- asset-sales, and anticipated equity investments will facilitate its restructuring efforts and allow it to continue operating as one company.

In a separate announcement today, the company's Creditor's Committee claims the end of what it refers to as "stalking horse negotiations" with Hutchison and STT reflects an improvement in the company's chances to successfully reorganize and opens the way for a viable standalone restructuring option.

Hutchison and STT put in a bid to buy the telecom company about four months ago, after it filed for chapter 11 on January 28 (see GlobalX: The Burst Bubble). Approximately 60 companies have voiced their interest in buying parts or all of Global Crossing, but the Hutchison-STT bid was the only formal one the company had received. The two companies offered to pay $750 million -- only a fraction of the estimated $22.4 billion price tag on the company's assets -- for a 79 percent stake in the company.

Global Crossing's creditors, however, balked -- not only at what many characterized as a fire-sale price, but also because the two potential buyers insisted that the creditors write off the company's entire $12.4 billion debt. On Saturday, the Asian duo announced that, despite an extension of the May 21 deadline to reach an agreement with Global Crossing, they had ended the discussions with the carrier's creditors because of continuing "major differences."

Hutchison and STT have not ruled out joining in future negotiations for Global Crossing, saying they would keep their options open. Few observers, however, anticipate seeing the companies among the bidders expected to step up to the plate before the June 20 deadline. If there are multiple bids, an auction will be held on July 8, and the bankruptcy court is set to approave the winning bid on July 11.

Rich Nespola, president and CEO of consultancy and management firm The Management Network Group Inc. (TMNG), however, says that Global Crossing's management did the right thing to initiate a plan that could help the company avoid liquidation. "Let's put it this way," he says, "you can't have no plan. There is some hope that they can rehabilitate the company."

— Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Light Reading
maryhadalambda 12/4/2012 | 10:20:04 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming? There was a fellow named Winnick
Who sought riches in opticks
Global's shares soared
Increasing his horde
Thanks to accounting tricks
macchiarolo 12/4/2012 | 10:20:03 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming? Not just Global Crossing...


fault30 12/4/2012 | 10:19:50 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming?
Are you still at Eagle? Or is that place still
around? Used to work there and recoginized
your login - not to mention the tie-in with Tyco.
macchiarolo 12/4/2012 | 10:19:38 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming? yes to both. but of course,
since you aren't using your name,
I don't know who you are.
MyDayOff 12/4/2012 | 10:18:52 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming? An asset sale is inevitable, but the reason is litigation-risk. The further erosion of Global Crossing's value does not reflect its market value, it reflects the market value minus the litigation risk.

The follow-up question to this article should be "Why have all of the supposedly interested bidders vanished." Have the prospects for the industry become so desperately low that nobody wants the network? I suspect that the answer is not quite that grim. (Well, maybe for the company and its stakeholders, but not for the industry in general.) Global Crossing likely faces a world of litigation over the next several years. Buy the company and buy the litigation. Who wants to be saddled with that uncertainty? The good new is that it appears that Hutch and Singtel still value the assets, but once the questions of impropriety surfaced they had to discount their offer price. It may be that the safest way to "buy" Global Crossing is to buy parts. At least this way you can get the parts you want with out the litigation risk. Of course, this may take a while, as the wheels of the bankruptcy courts turn at their own pace.

And by the way, don't cry for the bondholders and equity holders. Almost all those that took big loses are gone now. The ones that currently own are in the business of buying distressed paper in hopes that they can squeeze something out of it.
rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 10:18:50 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming? http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/0206...

I am so sick of bad news...How's the weather in Australia today?

rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 10:18:50 PM
re: Global Garage Sale Coming? The whole thing...

Tyco Chairman, CEO Kozlowski Resigns
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Tyco International (NYSE: TYC - News) Ltd Chairman Dennis Kozlowski, reportedly under criminal investigation for suspected tax evasion, quit as chairman and left the Tyco board Monday for "personal reasons."
In a press release Monday, Tyco named former Chief Executive John F. Fort, a director, as interim chief.
The New York Times Reported Monday that New York District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau is investigating Dennis Kozlowsky's alleged use of hundreds of millions of dollars moved into family trusts to purchase goods and services without paying state sales taxes.
No charges have yet been filed.
The grand jury investigation led by the Manhattan district attorney began several months ago, according to the Times story.
Tyco said Monday Fort will assume "primary executive responsibilities" during the executive search process.
The company also affirmed it remains committed to complete the planed initial public offering of CIT, Tyco's financial services unit, and to continue to reduce debt.
"We plan to complete the IPO of CIT by the end of June," said Fort in a prepared statement.
"Also, I fully support the evolution of the company's long-term operating strategy to focus more on organic growth. We will continue with our plans to make return on capital a key part of our compensation system along with earnings growth and cash flow."
Fort was Tyco chairman and chief executive for 10 years until 1992 and has been a board member since then.
Tyco shares gained ground last week amid rumors that the company' top management would step aside, though Wall Street's concerns were over Kozlowski's flip-flopping on a plan to break the lumbering conglomerate into four units, not over any personal tax investigation.
On May 30 , Kozlowski said did not intend to resign and he hadn't been asked to do so by the board of directors. In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires earlier in May, Kozlowski, who has been Tyco CEO since 1992, strongly expressed his desire to regain investor confidence and lead Tyco through its crisis.
Tyco's shares have fallen more than 60% this year, trading at a low of $15.25 on April 30 , down from a 52-week high of $60.09 on Dec. 5, 2001 .
Shares of Tyco were last quoted by Instinet at $20.25 in premarket trading Monday, down $1.70 from the Friday New York Stock Exchange close of $21.95.
The Times said investigation of Kozlowski has taken a more serious turn in recent days as the grand jury issued subpoenas and heard testimony, according to comments from lawyers involved in the case.
Fort, whose served as a liaison between management and outside directors in his post as "lead director", praised Kozlowski for his efforts in building Tyco into $36 billion conglomerate.
Tyco units make electronic components, undersea telecommunications systems, fire protection systems and medical products.
The Bermuda conglomerate said in January it would break off its healthcare, fire protection and flow control, and financial services businesses, taken public through initial public offerings and then distributed to Tyco shareholders.
Shares of the company had fallen in advance of the news of the breakup plan amid concerns about accounting practices and rumors that Kozlowski was leaving the languishing company.
But the split-up plan received a lukewarm reception from Wall Street and Kozlowski soon began to back away for the ambitious overhaul. In April, the company said it would scrap the plan, continuing only with the separation of CIT.
Tyco is awaiting a response from the Securities and Exchange Commission on the IPO filing for its CIT financial services division. At the same time, the company has been trying to sell the unit to a third party.
As reported by Dow Jones Newswires last week, some investors are beginning to doubt that Tyco will be able to find a buyer for CIT or even get a price above $ 6 billion. Tyco paid close to $10 billion for CIT a year ago.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) reportedly withdrew its $5 billion bid for CIT after reports of the bid hit the media.
Kozlowski, who led the company as it grew through hundreds of acquisitions, made hundreds of millions himself selling Tyco stock.
At its peak, Tyco had a market value of $120 billion, making it one of the 20 most valuable companies in America.
The Times reported Kozlowski has hired criminal lawyer, Stephen E. Kaufman, to represent him.
Company Web site: http://www.tyco.com

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