One.Tel won't tell -- at least until next week

Australian telco One.Tel is saying little about its collapse until the administrators have gone through the books
Written by Rachel Lebihan, Contributor

One.Tel staff, shareholders, customers and creditors may have to wait until 5 June to find out where they stand after the ailing telco appointed an administrator yesterday.

Between now and then administrator Ferrier Hodgson partner and joint voluntary administrator Steve Sherman will be "going through the books" with partner Peter Walker in preparation of the initial creditors' meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, 5 June.

Ferrier Hodgson was appointed as administrator following an auditors' revelation that a proposed capital raising of AU$132m would be insufficient to keep the company solvent.

"Steve has to sit down and find out exactly what's going on," a spokesperson for Ferrier Hodgson told ZDNet.

By law, a second creditors' meeting has to be held within 30 days of an administrator being appointed.

"This is Day One of the administration and we are at a very early stage of our review," Sherman said.

With almost one million Australian customers and a total of 2.6 million worldwide, One.Tel will continue to trade normally, according to Sherman.

"Over the next weeks we will be holding discussions with the major creditors to identify the best means of maintaining value for the benefit of customers, staff, creditors and shareholders," Sherman said.

"Meanwhile, the company will continue to service its customer base - it is very much a case of business as usual for all One.Tel staff and customers."

One.Tel's 1400-plus staff have been told nothing more than it's "business as usual" and the Communication and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is anxiously awaiting an administrator meeting so they can ascertain the fate of One.Tel workers.

One.Tel has operations in Australia, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Germany and Hong Kong.

The troubled telco said its overseas subsidiaries would be "dealt with on a case-by-case basis".

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