Embattled WorldCom chief executive John Sidgmore has admitted in an interview that the company's fight to avoid what would be the biggest bankruptcy in history was "looking much more difficult".
The company - which has $103.8bn-worth of assets, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission - is in the centre of an accounting scandal in which almost $4bn disappeared, covering over a loss in excess of $1.22bn and causing the company to lay off 17,000 staff worldwide.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sidgmore conceded that two of four options being discussed involved filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He would not be drawn on the other alternatives.
The company is currently in talks with money lenders over keeping the firm afloat.
"Bankruptcy is never the best option unless you have no other viable options," Sidgmore said.
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