Teligent fires 900

shares stop trading

Company scrambling to conserve its cash

May 12, 2001|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

VIENNA, Va. - Teligent Inc., a money-losing telecommunications company, fired about 900 workers yesterday and said it will shut down parts of its network to conserve cash.

Trading in shares of Teligent was halted on the Nasdaq stock market. The shares last traded at 56 cents, down 98 percent in the past year. Nasdaq spokesman Wayne Lee said officials have requested information from the company, but he didn't specify what information it's seeking.

Teligent has cut its work force by half in recent months to reduce costs. Yesterday's cuts affect all areas of the company and represent about 37 percent of Teligent's 2,300 to 2,400 employees, spokeswoman Tita Thompson said.

The Vienna, Va.-based company cut 780 jobs in November and 200 more in February.

"Events are starting to reach a climax for Teligent," said David Glaymon, an analyst at J. P. Morgan Securities Inc, who has a "market-perform" rating on Teligent. "It's clear this company will be entering a new chapter soon."

Chase Manhattan Bank, which is a unit of J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., is Teligent's largest lender.

Teligent will curtail services in several markets in the next few months, Thompson said. She wasn't more specific.

"We are taking these steps because we need to be extremely judicious about the cash we are spending," Thompson said.

Teligent has never made a profit. The company, which first sold shares to the public in 1997, also has been selling assets to raise money.

It has until Tuesday to acquire vendor financing to make payments on its debt. The original deadline was April 30.

Nasdaq notified Teligent on April 26 that its shares would be delisted because the company did not maintain a minimum bid price of $5 a share for 30 straight trading days. Teligent shares haven't traded above $5 since December.

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