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Dark night for Ionica as no white knight tips up

Administrators are now in the office

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Deeply-troubled Ionica failed to find a white knight and it called in the administrators yesterday. The radio-based telecommunications company said that normal services will continue for its 62,000 customers and since the parent Ionica Group is unaffected by the collapse, shareholders may see some recompense, unlike Ionica’s 1200 staff. Ionica has been looking for an investor since May and until last weekend, the Scottish company, Atlantic Telecom, was being touted as the most likely candidate. Ionica’s 15 months as a public company were characterised by volatile trading, with share prices soaring and plummeting between 421p and 8.75p. Fixed assets are valued at £250 million and it has around £40 million in cash but it owes £225 million to bondholders. Technological and financial issues have dogged the company, not least network under-capacity, and the banks’ recent decision to withhold a £300 million facility. Warburg Dillon Read advises the company and the joint administrators are Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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