The slump in the telecoms market has claimed another victim, forcing bandwidth wholesaler Storm Telecommunications into administration.
KPMG Corporate Recovery has been appointed as joint administrators to Storm Telecommunications Ltd and Storm Networks Ltd.
"We will be working to preserve the value and secure the assets of Storm for the benefit of creditors by seeking a buyer for the business," said Chris Laverty, KPMG Corporate Recovery partner and joint administrator.
According to sources close to the company, many staff have already left through redundancy and others are looking for new jobs.
One customer, DSL and internet service provider (ISP) Nildram, was philosophical about the company's fall from grace.
"It's just another in a long line of suppliers going bust," said Adrian Mardlin, the company's technical director. "All the guys who spent lots of money on European rack mounts are in trouble at the moment. There's more fibre in Europe than people need, and prices are going through the floor."
ISPs whose service providers falter are in a tricky situation, he added. Ordering a new line from another company may be necessary, but it is impossible to tell whether the existing company will continue in business.
On top of this, some ISPs are in the awkward situation of having both primary and backup suppliers in administration or under Chapter 11 protection.
Storm was founded in 1998 as an international voice wholesaler and was acquired by its management in a buyout on 1 January 2000. The buyout was funded, at least in part, by Soros Private Equity Partners.
The company changed focus towards providing data as well as voice business, building a pan-European network of voice switches and completing a pan-European optical switching network.
A statement released through KPMG Corporate Recovery stated: "While Storm has grown rapidly into a $100m business, the difficult state of the telecoms industry over the last year, and the constraints of the financial markets, have badly affected the ability of Storm to raise additional funding in the capital markets."
Calls to Storm's London offices were diverted to a full voicemail box and attempts to contact its office in The Netherlands were unsuccessful. Efforts to contact staff using direct dial numbers were also unsuccessful.
A receptionist at the managed offices rented by Storm in Amsterdam said that the offices were deserted, and all calls were forwarded to the shared reception area.
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