UPDATE 2- Willcom to restructure via bankruptcy-Nikkei

* Considering pre-packaged bankruptcy for turnaround – Nikkei

* ETIC and Softbank to help revival efforts with investment
(Adds company comments)

TOKYO, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Japanese wireless communications
service provider Willcom Inc will likely file for bankruptcy as
part of a restructuring set to involve investment from a
state-backed fund and Softbank Corp (9984.T: ), the Nikkei
newspaper said.

Willcom, majority owned by U.S. buyout firm Carlyle [CYL.UL],
has been weighed down by heavy debts and has been struggling to
expand its subscriber base in the country’ saturated and fiercely
competitive wirelss market.

The company is in the final stages of talks on the plan with
the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp (ETIC) and
could file for court protection from creditors next month, the
Nikkei said.

The ETIC and Softbank would then follow the filing with an
announcement of their plans to assist Willcom in its
restructuring, the Nikkei said.

In a statement, Willcom said the contents of the report were
not something it had announced and that it has been in
negotiations on a debt restructuring method known as “alternative
dispute resolution”. A company spokeswoman declined to comment
further.

A Softbank spokesman also declined to comment.

Willcom’s turnaround scheme would be similar to an ETIC-led
restructuring plan used with Japan Airlines Corp (9205.T: ), which
filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

Willcom’s liabilities stood at 173.1 billion yen ($1.9
billion) at the end of September, including 93.5 billion yen in
loans from financial institutions, the Nikkei said. Willcom and
the ETIC will likely ask creditors to forgive more than 100
billion yen in debt, the newspaper said.

A source told Reuters earlier this month that the ETIC was
considering assisting Willcom and that Softbank and private
equity firm Advantage Partners could also invest as part of the
revival plan. [ID:nTOE60E009]

Willcom competes against NTT DoCoMo Inc (9437.T: ), KDDI
(9433.T: ) and Softbank in providing fast Internet access via data
cards.

Willcom has been under pressure to raise money to develop
next-generation mobile wireless Internet access, which enables
quick Internet access from laptops.

The company’s director and senior adviser, Kazuo Inamori, has
agreed to become JAL’s new chief executive as part of the
airline’s turnaround efforts led by the ETIC.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Joseph
Radford)

UPDATE 2- Willcom to restructure via bankruptcy-Nikkei