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Thursday, 18th February 2010
In Business In Japan,

Mobile firm announce bankruptcy plan

Japanese mobile communication firm Willcom has announced it is to file for bankruptcy.

The company is struggling with debts of 206 billion yen (£1.44 billion) and also announced it has requested a bailout from the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative of Japan, a fund aimed at helping ailing firms.

As well as this, it has asked for financial aid from fellow mobile phone network provider Softbank, as well as private equity company Advantage Partners.

Willcom is Japan's fourth biggest mobile phone network provider and should it successfully file for bankruptcy, the US buyout firm Carlyle is set to lose its majority stake in the firm.

Six years ago, Carlyle bought a 90 per cent stake in Willcom for around 220 billion yen. Phone network operator KDDI owns a ten per cent share of the firm.

Japan has recently emerged from its deepest recession since the end of the second world war and other large firms including Japan Airlines have been hit hard by the downturn.

Written by Mark Smith.

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