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Energis reborn as 'Chelys,' but still called Energis

Bankers move in

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Debt-ridden London, UK-based carrier Energis Plc has been reborn as Chelys, and the new company has been given 150m pounds ($235.5m) of cash and long-term debt facilities.

In effect, the company has been taken over by its bankers who have signalled that they are not always prepared to sell off ailing investments for a pittance to the bottom feeders now gorging themselves on the corpses of failed companies. Instead the financial institutions now believe that a company that established itself as the major competitor to incumbent BT Group Plc with revenue approaching £1bn ($1.5bn) has a future under new management.

Under the deal, Energis went into administration and its assets were acquired by Chelys, a company set up by its creditors who were owed about £700m ($1bn). Agreement has been reached with holders of more than 50% of the company's bonds that will enable them to convert the bonds to equity in the new company.

Shareholders will get the right to 7.5% of any value over £1.8bn ($2.8bn) if the company is sold or floated in the next seven years.

As expected, Chelys will be chaired by management consultant Archie Norman, who is regarded as an expert at turning round failing companies. What makes him attractive to financial institutions is that he has no background in telecommunications, which they believe will make him more focused on making money rather than technology. Chelys will continue to trade as Energis.

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