Home & Office

BSkyB partner closes UK operations

The UK arm of Australia's Comet Satellite & Cable, which was to install satellite equipment for BSkyB, has gone into voluntary liquidation with the loss of 160 jobs
Written by Megan McAuliffe, Contributor

Australian-based Comet Satellite & Cable has been forced to retreat from the United Kingdom market, leaving 160 employees in its wake.

"From Comet's perspective, management has made the hard decision to withdraw the business and absorb the losses so we can focus on our core business in Australia," Comet managing director Ian Hughes told ZDNet.

Management of the Australian organisation placed the UK joint venture Beresford Swift Communications (BSC) in voluntary liquidation yesterday, absorbing an estimated £2m in losses.

160 employees were made redundant.

Comet Satellite & Cable installs infrastructure for Pay TV operators Foxtel and Austar, as well as Cable & Wireless Optus.

BSC, which was left to operate independently, did not meet its budget targets, according to Hughes.

"Subsequently, Comet deleted existing management and took over the business, agreeing to expand our share hold to 80 percent [from 50 percent] and continue to fund the business," Hughes said.

The company was to embark on a deal with BskyB to install satellite infrastructure. However, Comet claims the tender document was unsustainable for a business wanting to move forward.

"The UK environment was tougher than expected, we had to withdraw support from the UK operation financially and...the market altogether," he said.

Hughes explained that the "sheer size" of the UK industry and the difference in business cultures contributed to the operator's loss.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet news forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.

Editorial standards