Teligent has sunk into the murky bog of the fixed wireless market, weighed down by $1.65 billion in debts. Once a market star, Teligent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and may find its key assets rolled up with those of another bankrupt carrier, ICG Communications.
Major shareholder IDT appears to be executing a plan floated last fall to combine Teligents fixed wireless technology and ICGs mostly metro fiber network into a last-mile voice and data solution for businesses.
In April, around the time auditors began warning the company might not survive, IDT ousted CEO Alex Mandl and replaced him with its own executive team. IDT, which sells calling cards and long-distance service, has since cobbled together a 37 percent stake in Teligent in discounted deals, including the swap of $37.5 million in its own stock for Liberty Medias holdings, once valued at $1.4 billion. IDT also owns 42 percent of ICG, which was felled by heavy debt last fall.
The blame for Teligents demise can be pinned on net losses of $808 million in 2000 and $528.9 million in 1999. Teligent spent the money expanding its SmartWave fixed wireless and broadband network into 43 markets in the U.S., as well as into Argentina, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Spain.