NII Holdings, based in Reston, Va., will probably start bankruptcy proceedings as executives at the company, which sells mobile phone service to millions in Latin America, have been unable to tame its debt, stop the exodus of subscribers or generate fresh revenue.
“Despite the actions we’ve taken to improve our operational performance, we have fallen short in our efforts, leaving the company with a liquidity position that is not sufficient to support the business,” Steve Shindler, NII Holdings’ chief executive, said in a statement.
The company said in a news release Monday that it was likely to file for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The company also released its second-quarter earnings. A spokesman did not respond to requests for comment, and executives did not host a conference call with investors as in past quarters.
NII Holdings has reported a net loss of 77,000 subscribers between April 1 and June 30, bringing its subscriber count to 9.4 million at the end of the quarter. That’s down 6 percent compared with the same three-month period last year.
That decline contributed to lower revenue and mounting losses. The company tallied revenue of $968.8 million for the quarter, a 23 percent decline from revenue of $1.26 billion during the second quarter of last year.
The net loss for the second quarter came to $623.3 million, or $3.62 per diluted share, bringing the company’s net loss for the first half of the year to just shy of $1 billion.
The company had $5.8 billion in debt at the end of June.
NII Holdings has been shaking up its business since late 2012, when then-chief executive Steven P. Dussek reduced the staff at its Reston headquarters by 20 percent, eliminating some jobs and shifting others to offices in the countries where it sells Nextel telecommunication services.
The company also sold its business in Peru last year for $400 million to focus instead on the growing mobile markets in Mexico and Brazil, where NII Holdings faces competitors with faster networks that can better handle rising demand for data-centric smartphones.
To that end, the company hired a new president for its Nextel Mexico division in July and added subscribers in Brazil during the second quarter, despite consumers’ focus shifting to the all-consuming World Cup for several weeks.
“However, with our current liquidity position and the cash demands on our business, these ongoing initiatives will not be sufficient to allow the company to continue to operate unless we are able to restructure our debt obligations, find a strategic solution or some combination of those approaches,” Shindler stated.
“As a result, we will need to make some key decisions in the short term to address our liquidity situation in an effort to secure the best possible path forward for our stakeholders,” he continued.
In March, the company retained UBS Investment Bank to evaluate its strategic alternatives.
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