AT&T ‘pulls plans’ to buy KPNQwest

Carrier to be broken up

AT&T has ditched plans to buy KPNQwest leaving those running the collapsed company little option but to break-up the pan-European telecom network, according to the FT.

The paper claims the break-up and sale of KPNQwest could begin as early as this weekend.

AT&T's decision to call the whole thing off was blamed on the devilishly difficult task of organising the sale in the short time available.

An insider told the FT: "We have three days to sell what was once a E40 billion telecoms empire."

AT&T was regarded as the front runner in the bid to buy the bankrupt carrier. Now the liquidators will have to sift through more than 40 bids to find buyers for the 25,000 km network business.

UK-based pan-European telco Interoute Telecommunications Ltd and a consortium headed by Dutch venture fund Trimoteur have placed bids for parts of the network.

Anyhow, funds to keep the network limping on are due to run out today. Another day, another deadline. ®

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