MandrakeSoft emerges from bankruptcy

Armed with a plan for paying off its debts, the Linux maker has resumed trading its shares this week

Shares in Linux developer MandrakeSoft have returned to active trading, as the company prepares to emerge from France's equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

MandrakeSoft said on Friday that its court-appointed administrator has filed a plan by which the company may emerge from "redressement judiciaire", with a court ruling on the plan expected in the coming weeks. The plan calls for the company to repay 4.1 million euros (£2.8m) of its liabilities without interest over a nine-year period, a process that would allow MandrakeSoft to rely on its revenues without raising additional capital.

The company also said that it had received 751,800 euros of investments from existing shareholders, which will become available to the company if the court accepts the bankruptcy exit plan. "This will further strengthen the capital base of the company," MandrakeSoft said.

Filing the plan enabled the company to resume trading its stock on Euronext's Marché Libre, an unregulated market, on Monday 8 March. MandrakeSoft first listed its shares on the Marché Libre in 2001.

As of Thursday, the company noted that its share price had risen by about 22 percent, with shares trading at just under 3 euros on Thursday afternoon. While the increase is a far cry from the stock gains of the dot-com boom era, it also offers a contrast to the days when investors shunned any ICT-related offering. Browser maker Opera Software, which debuted on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Thursday, also found a positive reception for its shares.

In January 2003, the Paris-based company said its financial liabilities prompted it to file for "declaration de cessation des paiements", which is the French equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move allows the company to take court-overseen actions, such as renegotiating its debt, while continuing its operations.