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Gores' Bid Expected for Global Crossing

July 12, 2002|JAMES S. GRANELLI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The deadline for bidding on all or parts of Global Crossing Ltd. was extended Thursday to as late as midnight, and two Los Angeles brothers making a joint offer for the troubled fiber-optic network builder ironed out minor details late in the day as they prepared to file.

Spokesmen for separate buyout firms headed by financiers Tom and Alec Gores said the combined bid would be "substantially higher" than an initial offer by two Asian companies, which creditors rejected as inadequate and which the companies withdrew.

The Asian companies, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. in Hong Kong and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, proposed paying $750 million in cash for 79% of Global Crossing. Creditors would have received 21% of the company and $300 million in cash, with the rest going into the company to fund operations.

Global had $12.4 billion in debt when the holding company and 55 subsidiaries filed what became the nation's fourth-largest bankruptcy Jan. 28. The debtors owe $8 billion, and units that are not in bankruptcy, primarily 59%-owned Asia Global Crossing Ltd., owe the rest.

The Gores brothers' spokesmen said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York granted a delay in filing the proposal. They said only minor details needed attention but would not elaborate.

The bidding process is secret until sometime after a private auction is held July 24. A number of companies have stated their intentions--and most decided not to make any offers.

Verizon Communications Inc. reportedly said it did not make a bid, and AT&T Corp. had been cool toward Global's network and the three main units that are not part of the core long-distance voice and data operation.

In addition, VoiceLogix Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., worked throughout the night Wednesday but decided early Thursday not to bid for Global's teleconferencing unit.

The joint offer from Tom Gores' Platinum Equity and Alec Gores' Gores Technology Group may be the only major bid for Global's worldwide high-speed cable system, which connects 200 cities in 27 countries.

Associated Press and Bloomberg News were used in compiling this report

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