The wholesale-only operator Kosc is in the spotlight. Its president, Yann de Prince, confirmed that there are only a few weeks left to find a solution to his financial problems at his hearing in early October by the Senate.
"As the company had not yet reached operating balance, and could not therefore in principle convince the court of its ability to continue its activity, it was logical that we should proceed, not with a suspension of payment, but with outright liquidation," explained the director of the alternative wholesale operator.
"The process I have initiated gives the company a very short period of time, two months, to try to overcome its difficulties," he said. Yann de Prince mandated the Rothschild investment bank in early September to "find investors or any partner who could help save or take over the company".
"The outcome of the process initiated at the beginning of September is set for the end of October 2019. It may be extended for a further two months. Its main condition is the payment of the next salaries. This payment itself depends on a new commitment by shareholders or the lifting of SFR's seizures. If one or the other does not come true, we will probably no longer avoid the pitfall of liquidation," said Kosc's boss.
Facing serious cash flow problems, the operator has indeed seen its horizon darken considerably in recent weeks. The operator is uncertain following the Competition Authority's unfavourable decision concerning the takeover of Completel's DSL network, previously held by SFR, and the withdrawal of one of its major investors, Banque des territoires.
"Kosc is in a blocking situation at this time. On September 27, 2019, using the ADLC's decision as an instrument in the middle of a discussion process with creditors, SFR proceeded to a protective seizure of the company's accounts and all trade receivables. As a result, Kosc no longer has any liquidity. Bailiffs regularly come to our offices. From the end of October, it will face the problem of salary payments unless our shareholders intervene further," said Kosc's Director of Financial Control and Regulatory Affairs.
It is now time for an emergency. "Kosc's situation is now simple: either in the coming weeks, the shareholders will be sufficiently convinced and will decide to provide sufficient funds to allow the company to regain a certain margin of manoeuvre, necessary for the implementation of a sustainable solution, or the company will be liquidated or sold," explained its president.
Especially since OVH, one of its historical investors, could well play the role of the girl of the air since the telecom activities are no longer a priority for him.
But the operator has no shortage of contenders for its takeover. The operator's president thus stated "Despite a most unfavourable situation, despite the urgency with which these possible partners are asked to position themselves, sixteen[candidates] have already expressed themselves" by specifying that they are mainly industrial partners.
Bouygues Telecom and Iliad could be candidates for this takeover. This information should still be taken on a conditional basis, but it might seem plausible when both operators have views on this lucrative market.
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Source : ZDNet