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Financial

Marconi Tanks Big Time

Investors in Marconi PLC (Nasdaq/London: MONI) are running for the exits following news that the company's efforts to arrange emergency bank financing have run into problems.

As a result, Marconi's shareprice plunged 47 percent on the London Stock Exchange today, reaching a new low of 9.55 UK pence (13.6 US cents). This makes the company worth a mere $380 million -- a tiny fraction of the $49 billion it was worth in the year 2000.

In a trading statement this morning, Marconi said that it was unable to enter into a new financing facility that it had been negotiating with banks, because market conditions were worse than it had anticipated and showed no signs of improvement in the company's financial year ending March 2003 (see Marconi Gives Trading Update).

Marconi says that it will develop a revised business plan in the next few weeks while continuing to discuss refinancing options. The company's fate appears to be hanging by a thread.

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

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