For Immediate Release
October 26, 2009
CONCORD – Gov. John Lynch, Attorney General Michael Delaney, and Public Utilities Commission Chairman Tom Getz announced this morning that the State would intervene and actively participate in the FairPoint reorganization in order to protect the interests of New Hampshire businesses, consumers, and workers. In its press release today, FairPoint announced that it has reached an agreement with a majority of its creditors to restructure its debt and that telecommunications services in New Hampshire will continue uninterrupted.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. filed this morning in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for reorganization under federal bankruptcy laws. State officials had anticipated the possibility of a FairPoint reorganization. Company officials stated recently that the company might fail to meet all of its financial obligations to its lenders by the end of October and was in talks aimed at restructuring its debt. Today's filing includes protections for employees to be paid as usual and for suppliers and contractors to be paid for their goods and services.
In anticipation of FairPoint's filing, the State has already hired bankruptcy specialists to assist the State in the bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, the Governor's Office, the Department of Justice, and the staff of the Public Utilities Commission have been meeting regularly to plan in the event of a FairPoint restructuring. Gov. Lynch's office has also been working with the Governors of Maine and Vermont.
The Attorney General's Office and outside counsel will appear on behalf of the State at the initial hearing in New York, and will represent the State in the reorganization.
"For FairPoint to restructure as a viable company, it must make improving customer services and meeting its commitments to expand broadband its first priorities," Gov. Lynch said.
"We will carefully review the proposed agreements to make sure the interests of New Hampshire consumers and workers are protected and represented in these proceedings," Gov. Lynch said. "FairPoint must improve and effectively manage the public telecommunications system that it was entrusted to operate."
FairPoint's filing does not relieve the company from its obligation to continue to operate the telecommunications network in New Hampshire.
"The Attorney General's Office will appear in the bankruptcy proceeding to fully protect the interests of the citizens of the State," said Attorney General Michael Delaney.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301