Willcom reveals plan to restructure; may file for bankruptcy protection

27 Jan 2010

Willcom Inc, a Japanese wireless services provider using PHS technology, is considering plans to file for bankruptcy protection as part of a wider restructuring process set to include the state-backed fund Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp (ETIC) and Softbank Corp. Willcom, which is majority owned by private equity group Carlyle of the US, is struggling to compete with a heavy debt load in a highly saturated domestic wireless market. The Nikkei newspaper reports that Willcom is in the final negotiation phase of a plan under which it could file for bankruptcy protection with the courts, maybe as soon as next month. ETIC and Softbank Corp would then initiate their own plans to assist Willcom in its ongoing restructuring, the paper said. As at 31 March 2009, Willcom had JPY69 billion (USD757 million) of loans and JPY35 billion of outstanding debt.