Hayes denies US reports - still looking for buyer

Strenuously denying US reports that Hayes has gone into liquidation, Nigel Croisdale vice president of Hayes International told ZDNet UK News the company had shut down US factories but remained in Chapter 11, protected from its creditors.

"The US reports are wrong, we're still here," says Croisdale who has been in conference calls with American colleagues all day. He adds, "what is true is that we have gone through a significant downsizing exercise in the US which has resulted in significant job losses, but we do have our core team."

Hayes filed for Chapter 11 early last October after it reported a net loss of $14.2m (£8.65m) and has struggled to compete in a difficult market dominated by networking giant 3Com. Analysts predict the firm's imminent departure: "They have been struggling for quite a long time," says Stephen Baker, analyst at PC Data in the US. "It comes as no surprise they are going under. It is a difficult place to make money and the banks won't support them any more. Their market share will be swallowed up by 3Com, Diamond and Zoom."

But Croisdale -- based in England -- says the UK division is both profitable and solvent and says he expects the company will be bought before the inevitable. "We are very strong in the UK and do not rely on the US for products or financing. We are autonomous and I can confirm that as far as we are concerned in the UK we are actively talking to a number of parties interested in buying Hayes."

No companies were named.

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