Fears are mounting over the fate of troubled telecoms company 186k following a decision by parent company Lattice to write off £250m worth of its investment.
The write-off comes after Lattice, which is in talks to merge with National Grid, abandoned plans to become a major player in the telecoms market.
While Lattice chairman and acting chief executive Sir John Parker said that the telecoms business was up for sale, there are fears that 186k will not find a buyer given the current turbulent state of the sector.
He added that there were a number of "fairly serious players" both at home and abroad interested in buying all or part of the business, and hoped that a deal could be concluded as soon as possible.
Total investment in 186k is around £350m, £400m including its SST Telecom Towers venture, and the business has made losses of £120m in the past 18 months. Its value has now been set at £100m.
Parker put the blame for 186k's failure on the group's previous management which included David Varney, who now chairs BT's mobile spin-off mmO2, and financial director Philip Hampton, now at Lloyds TSB.
Nobody at 186k would comment on the company while merger talks are in progress.
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