Avantel refutes bankruptcy suggestions; debt reorganisation looms

17 Dec 2019

Avantel, the Colombian iDEN operator-turned-LTE provider, must reorganise its debts in order to keep its business afloat, it has been revealed. Company president Ignacio Roman has denied suggestions that Avantel is poised to file for bankruptcy but has admitted that the telco will embark on a reorganisation process. According to Portafolio.co, the company’s total liabilities stand at COP1.17 trillion (USD346.4 million), of which more than 20% are 90 days overdue. The debt primarily comprises national roaming fees owed to Tigo, Claro and Movistar. In October this year Tigo disconnected Avantel subscribers from its network as a result of the monies owed.

One party sure to be keeping an eye on the situation is Novator Partners, the Icelandic-backed, London-based owner of Chilean upstart operator WOM. Earlier this month Novator was confirmed as one of the registered bidders for Colombia’s multi-band spectrum auction, which will commence on 20 December. Novator, which acquired cash-strapped Nextel Chile back in January 2015, was previously linked with a takeover of Avantel Colombia in 2016, although no deal came to fruition on that occasion.

Colombia, Avantel (Colombia)