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Hawaiian Telcom files for bankruptcy protection

•  National News     updated  2008/12/02 15:07


Hawaiian Telcom Communications Inc., the largest telephone company in Hawaii, said Monday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company had been working with creditors since October on a debt-restructuring agreement and said it decided the bankruptcy-protection filing was the best course of action. It blamed the filing partly on increased competition, economic volatility and its failure to meet capital expenditure needs.

President and Chief Executive Eric Yeaman, in a letter to customers Monday, stressed that the company was not going out of business and that service would not be interrupted.

Hawaiian Telcom posted a loss of $34 million in the third quarter, its third straight quarterly loss this year. Last month the company filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that it may seek court protection if talks with creditors failed.

Hawaiian Telcom postponed a $26 million interest payment in November and was in the midst of a 30-day grace period, which ended Monday.

Hawaiian Telecom is carrying more than $1 billion in debt, the result of financing that was arranged three years ago for the company's $1.6 billion sale from Verizon Communications to Carlyle Group, a private-equity firm based in Washington, D.C.




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