Bennett gets hired at Advanced Telecom Group - they file BK Bennett loses 30K in commisions? ~ The NIMDA and Anthrax Fraud

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Bennett gets hired at Advanced Telecom Group - they file BK Bennett loses 30K in commisions?


ATG's sale is good news for local customers

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Buyout by Integra Telecom means continued service for 800 clients of the telecommunications company

A Beaverton-based telecommunications firm is the apparent successful bidder for bankrupt Advanced TelCom Group Inc.'s customers and assets in Oregon and Washington.

Integra Telecom, a provider of local, long-distance and Internet services for small and mid-size businesses, has reached an agreement with Santa Rosa, Calif.-based ATG that will preserve service for ATG's 800 Southern Oregon customers.

The transaction awaits approval June 6 in bankruptcy court and requires completion of definitive agreements.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Integra is a closely held firm with roots reaching back to 1984. It was acquired by Dudley Slater and Ted Berns in 1996 and was registered as a competitive local exchange carrier.

The acquisition also includes ATG customers in Nevada and Santa Rosa, Calif., and will more than double Integra's service capacity, while infusing it with substantial cash flow.

This transaction validates our primary business objective: to provide a quality, reliable, locally based service alternative to the vital small- to medium-sized business community, said Slater, Integra's chief executive officer, in a statement

Integra currently serves customers as far south as Eugene. ATG's area sales manager ron Cantrall predicted Integra will soon add employees in Eugene and Medford, where its staff had been whittled to a lone technician.

This transaction significantly overlaps Integra's service areas and current customer base. It also serves customers in Minnesota, Utah and North Dakota.

Company investors, such as Bank of America, CIT Group and Boston Ventures, have raised & 36;251 million in recent years. In December, Integra began producing positive cash flow.

ATG was forced to sell off its assets when it could no longer service its debt, despite &

36;560 million in venture capital and lines of credit.

This company has been very conservatively financed so that it will never outgrow its means, said John Nee, Integra's marketing vice president. We expanded in 2000, but not outside what we could afford, and now we're in a position where our investors trust us.

At its height, ATG had more than 700 employees. It was down to 280 when it filed for Chapter 11 protection on May 2.

TelePacific of Los Angeles will purchase ATG's accounts out of Concord, San Rafael, San Ramon, Pleasanton and Napa offices.

Curt Wheeling, a former ATG vice president, has an agreement to buy the company's test lab.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail


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