UPC Nears End of Restructuring

17 July 2003

European cable giant UPC is set to emerge from bankruptcy as attempts to block its restructuring look doomed to fail.

The continent’s largest cable-TV company filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and the Netherlands late last year as part of a complex debt-for-equity swap [WAMN: 05-Dec-03].

It looked ready to emerge in March, having gained the approval of bondholders and US courts [WAMN: 17-Mar-03]. However, it hit a new hurdle in the shape of InterComm Holdings, a small creditor which appealed against the plan in the Netherlands.

Now the Dutch attorney general has recommended that InterComm’s plea be dismissed by the country’s supreme court. Although this is no guarantee the appeal will be thrown out, UPC is confident it will get the desired result.

“The supreme court, which is independent of the Dutch attorney general, generally takes into account the conclusion of the Dutch attorney general and, in most cases, comes out with the same result as the Dutch attorney general,” the cable firm declared.

UPC’s plan will wipe out two-thirds of its $10.4 billion (€9.3bn; £6.6bn) debt. It will also see US group Liberty Media, headed by US investor John Malone, take control.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff