April 16, 2021
**Updated on April 27 to reflect the exact date Frontier expects to emerge from chapter 11 bankrupcty.**
It’s now just a matter of days until Frontier Communications emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a year-long process. The company says it has all regulatory approvals it needs to leave chapter 11 behind on Friday.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), on April 16, unanimously voted to approve Frontier’s emergence from chapter 11. Having already received all other required state and federal approvals, the company now says April 30 is the day.
In addition, Frontier will have a new board that oversees the company’s “strategic transformation.” The company will start public trading on the Nasdaq on May 4.
“Frontier is ready to set a new course as a revitalized public company,” said John Stratton, incoming executive chairman of the board. “Through the restructuring process, the Company has stabilized its business and recapitalized its balance sheet, while making significant progress on the early stages of implementing our initial fiber expansion plan.”
In January, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Frontier’s Chapter 11 restructuring.
Frontier filed bankruptcy last April as part of its restructuring support agreement. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved its bankruptcy reorganization plan in August.
When it emerges, Frontier says it will reduce its debt by more than $10 billion. Furthermore, it will be more financially flexible to support continued investment. It’s also promising an improved customer experience and long-term growth.
According to Telecompetitor, Frontier likely had to accept some significant concessions for the CPUC approval. Earlier negotiations called for Frontier agreeing to a $1.75 billion investment in its California network. That would have increased its fiber footprint by 350,000 locations.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) hasn’t commented on the CPUC’s approval, but it slammed the FCC decision. It said the agency dismissed concerns about Frontier’s intention to follow through on promised investment to improve service.
The CWA also said the agency dismissed concerns about a proposed “virtual separation” plan. That could separate service areas between states that will get new fiber deployment and states that will not.
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