Marconi hits a 24-year low

£807m sounds like a lot of money, but if you were worth £34bn last year it's not so good...

£807m sounds like a lot of money, but if you were worth £34bn last year it's not so good...

Marconi's troubles continued to worsen yesterday as its value fell below £1bn amid escalating fears about the size of its debts. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's yesterday relegated the company's credit rating to junk status, which raised fears that the £4.4bn debt mountain Marconi has run up will prove to be unserviceable. Shares in the beleaguered telecoms equipment company fell 24 per cent as a result to 29p - the lowest they have been since 1977. The share slump left Marconi's market value at £807m. Last year it was worth £34.4bn. In related news, shareholders yesterday stepped up pressure on Marconi not to give departing CEO Lord Simpson a £1m pay-off. Simpson was forced out earlier this week along with chairman Sir Roger Hurn, but shareholders have reacted angrily to news that the pair stand to receive generous pay-offs and are demanding the ailing company renege on its contractual obligations to pay the two former chiefs.