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Norway’s Enitel Declares Bankruptcy

September 17, 2001

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ One of Norway’s major telephone companies, Enitel ASA, announced Monday it was declaring its main subsidiary bankrupt after failing to attract new capital.

In a statement, Enitel said its operating unit, Enitel AS, had failed to draw enough new investment despite the presentation of a new business plan.

The bankruptcy does not affect operations of the parent company, Enitel ASA, though most of its assets are held in Enitel AS, the company said.

The utility said it had arranged with state-controlled Telenor AS, the country’s main telecommunications concern, and with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to ensure uninterrupted service for its customers.

Enitel has debts of 3.9 billion kroner ($443 million). The concern said it was looking for new owners who might continue operations.

Enitel was founded by seven electrical companies in 1996 with the idea of using their existing power grid as a basis for telephone and broadband lines to create competition in the national telecommunications market. About 50 power companies are linked into the system.

In 2000, it bought out Sweden’s Telia’s interests in Norway, making it the major challenger to Telenor in landline capacity and services.

Last year Enitel and Finland’s leading telecommunications operator, Sonera, were awarded one of four third-generation mobile telecommunications license awarded by the Norwegian government.

However, last month, Sonera announced that it was dissolving that joint venture, called Broadband Mobile, and returning the license to the government.

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