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Court Sets Viasource Auction

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida will hold an auction next week to sell off the remaining assets of Viasource Communications Inc., the troubled Fort Lauderdale-based provider of installation services to the cable and telecom industries.

Viasource filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 15. According to the court's Web site, an auction for the company's assets will be held March 28, with the sale expected to be completed by the next day.

According to company sources, Viasource has already received interest from several bidders for the assets, which include equipment, property and contracts. According to a report in the Miami Herald, one of those bidders — Canadian telecom services provider 180 Telecommunications Inc. — has bid $60 million for those assets.

When Viasource filed for bankruptcy protection, it listed $148.9 million in assets and $59.9 million in liabilities. But more than half of its assets were goodwill and other intangibles.

Any deal still must be approved by the bankruptcy court, and is subject to other bids.

Viasource once hoped to cash in on growth in the telecommunications infrastructure by serving as the outside installer for companies that wanted to offer high-speed data and other broadband services.

Viasource, which planned to buy up installation contractors across the country, completed an initial public offering in 1999. But its $8-per-share offering price was far below the $14 to $16 the company had hoped to attract, and the IPO raised only about $37 million.

Though the company completed a few small deals, it began running out of money soon afterwards.

In its most recent financial report, Viasource said it had cumulative losses of more than $170 million.