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Judge Approves MCI’s Chapter 11 Plan

October 31, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ The judge overseeing MCI’s bankruptcy approved the company’s plan to emerge from the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, a financial reorganization that will pay back most creditors 36 cents on the dollar and erase $35 billion of debt.

The ruling Friday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez comes 16 months after the company formerly known as WorldCom slid into disgrace after revealing it had fabricated $11 billion in profits.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the plan and MCI’s emergence from bankruptcy protection would officially take effect. Judges often set an effective date between one and three months after approval.

The reorganization plan is designed to give MCI a fighting chance at survival in an industry besieged by fierce price wars, sluggish business spending and competing technologies such as cell phones and Internet-based calling.

But a freshly cleaned financial slate and a new name will not, however, suddenly sanitize the company’s sullied reputation or wipe away its legal troubles, including charges of securities fraud in the company’s accounting deception and a federal investigation into the company’s telephone call routing practices.

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