Morgan Stanley Slaps Writ on NTL Claiming Unpaid Fees

02 January 2003

US-owned cable operator NTL, currently struggling to restructure its massive £6.9 billion ($11.06bn; €10.59bn) debt and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is on the receiving end of a writ from one of its closest advisors, investment bank Morgan Stanley.

According to Wednesday’s The Times, the bank seeks to recover from the cable giant around £7 million in unpaid fees – some invoices dating back to July 1999 when it advised NTL on its £8.2bn takeover of Cable & Wireless to create the UK’s largest cable company.

A NTL spokesperson says it may fight the claim.

The lawsuit exemplifies the labyrinthine, not to say consanguineous, relationships that exist within the rarefied world of money manipulation – especially as MS is still advising NTL as it flails to emerge from Chapter 11.

Few would mistake the continuance of the association as loyalty on the bank’s part. Lawsuit or no, it can expect to cream fees of up to $20m for its help in restructuring the company.

But some observers are beginning to question whether NTL is going to make it out of the wood. Its plausible ceo Barclay Knapp insisted in November that the group was about to emerge from Chapter 11 “in the very near future” despite failing to reach an accommodation with its creditors [WAMN: 19-Nov-02]. Eight weeks on, the world still waits.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff