The NABU Network in Alexandria, which delivers computer programs to home personal computers via cable television, shut down Friday after the company's major investor and stockholder in Canada ended his licensing of NABU's computer technology, a source close to NABU said.
The decision to revoke the licensing came just a week after the financially troubled company announced that it would solve its funding problems by leaving its Canadian parent, becoming an independent American operation that would secure funds on its own. The new organization had the exclusive U.S. consumer license to the NABU high-speed digital broadcast technology.
The Alexandria company shut down, instead, after the Campeau Corp., a large Ottawa real estate concern and the company's major investor, decided last Wednesday to end licensing of the computer technology, a source said. "Campeau reneged on its agreement with NABU," said a source who asked not to be identified.
No explanation for Campeau's action toward NABU could be obtained from NABU sources or Campeau officials.
Thomas E. Wheeler, president of the American NABU company, declined to return phone calls. W. J. Carroll, executive vice president of finance for Campeau Corp. and a member of the NABU board of directors in Canada, could not be reached for comment.
NABU officials said recently that the American company, funded by businesses, including U.S. cable companies, had raised half of the $6 million needed to continue operations for a year. The money was to be used to launch a national NABU network service to cable systems outside Alexandria.
"I don't understand it," said Sharon King, NABU public relations director. "We were on the way to closing for the entire $6 million. We had also reached 5 percent penetration in the marketplace, which was our target for the year."
The company closed without providing severance pay for the 20 NABU employes, plans for repayment of creditors or shutdown plans for subscribers, a source said.
The troubles started several months ago, when Campeau Chairman Robert Campeau decided not to advance $27 million in additional funds to NABU's Canadian parent. The lack of additional financing led to a reorganizaton of the parent company, the dismissal of 200 employes and the creation of the separate American company, on which the parent company's survival was said to hinge.