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August 31, 2009

New Owner for Innovative Likely by Year's End

From the St. Thomas Source:

August 27, 2009 -- By year's end, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation will own ICC, parent company to Innovative Telephone Corporation and its telephone, cable television and Internet operations, Innovative President E. Clarke Garnett said Thursday.

Garnett, speaking to Rotary of St. Croix at its weekly speaker's luncheon at Gertrude's Restaurant, said the company has digitized the television services, worked on line maintenance and was in the process of upgrading its cellular and wireless services. But the heavy lifting to upgrade and strengthen the company's network will begin after the transfer of control.

ICC, formerly the property of ex-telecoms magnate Jeffrey Prosser, has been in bankruptcy since July 2006. National Rural's affiliate, Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative, is the lender to ICC and holds a $525 million judgment against it. Efforts to auction the component companies were hampered by the global financial crisis and in January, National Rural announced its intent to credit bid for the properties. A credit bid is when a creditor bids for a property at auction, offering not cash, but part or all of the value of the debt owed it.