Business & Finance - Wednesday 6.6.2001

Wapit files for bankruptcy

 Second round of financing failed completely

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Mobile service provider Wapit has filed for bankruptcy. The company’s second round of financing, which began already late last year, did not lead to the desired result.
“We wanted to file for bankruptcy ourselves, because up until Friday we were still actively negotiating various solutions. When these talks failed, we realised that it was time to blow the whistle”, Wapit President Hannu Bergholm stated.
Just over one month ago, Wapit founder and Vice President Markku “Mato” Valtonen denied the rumours concerning the company’s bankruptcy.

“The bankruptcy is a sum
of many factors. Negotiations on selling the firm entirely or in part to an industrial buyer should have been initiated earlier”, Bergholm muses.
According to Bergholm, Wapit searched for financing at the worst possible time, when many investors were pulling their funds out of the mobile sector.
In the spring of 2000, when London-based investment bank Durlacher became a shareholder, Wapit was still valued at FIM 180 million. Valtonen’s share at the time was worth some 30 million.
In addition to Valtonen and Durlacher, the other principal owners include the investment company of Elcoteq Chairman Antti Piippo, Wapit President Bergholm and his investment company, as well as co-founder Pekka Palin.

The Wapit bankruptcy
is the third one in the information technology sector in Finland. Wapit currently employed around eighty people, down from over one hundred.
Bergholm reveals that the staff were notified of the company’s difficulties months ago, but most chose to stay on until the very end. Bergholm is also confident that the former Wapit crew will find new jobs easily.

Previously in HS International Edition:
 Valtonen denies Wapit bankruptcy (2.5.2001)

 Wapit press release
 Wapit home page

Helsingin Sanomat

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