REGIONAL— The primary telecommunications provider for thousands of customers in northern St. Louis and Lake counties is expected to file for bankruptcy within weeks. That’s according to …
REGIONAL— The primary telecommunications provider for thousands of customers in northern St. Louis and Lake counties is expected to file for bankruptcy within weeks.
That’s according to Bloomberg News, which reported late last week that top company executives with Frontier Communications have asked major creditors to help them craft a turnaround plan for the troubled telecommunications giant.
As part of that plan, company executives told creditors that the company will be filing for bankruptcy protection ahead of a $356 million payment due on March 15.
According to Bloomberg, Frontier CEO Bernie Han told creditors during a Jan. 16 meeting that the company will seek a pre-packaged agreement ahead of the mid-March payment deadline.
As the Timberjay has previously reported, signs of a looming Frontier bankruptcy have been apparent for months as the company assumed a $17.5 billion debt burden while customers fled as a result of poor service quality and predatory billing practices.
According to Bloomberg, a Frontier bankruptcy would rank as one of the biggest telecom reorganizations since Worldcom’s bankruptcy in 2002.
It’s unclear how a Frontier bankruptcy might impact its Minnesota customers.
Officials with the Minnesota Department of Commerce have been in contact with Frontier about the situation, according to department spokesperson Emmalyn Bauer. “At this point, there has been nothing shared with Commerce to suggest that Frontier will be unable to serve its customers,” said Bauer. “If Frontier were to go into bankruptcy, Commerce would assist the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in an effort to ensure consumers’ service is uninterrupted. In such a scenario, decisions on service would ultimately belong to the PUC.”
News of the anticipated bankruptcy has further hammered Frontier stock, which was selling this week at just 57 cents per share. The company’s common stock had traded at $125 per share as recently as 2015.
Frontier Communications of Minnesota, Inc., and its affiliate, Citizens Telecommunications of Minnesota, LLC, provide telephone service to approximately 90,000 Minnesota households and businesses, as well as internet service to many more households, in many parts of rural Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area.