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Lawyers for Global Crossing Ltd. have asked for more time to secure the final regulatory approvals of a Chapter 11 buyout by two overseas firms Thursday after the company’s application stalled before a government committee. Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Singapore Technologies Telemedia have already received bankruptcy court approval for their bid to acquire 61.5 percent of Global Crossing for $250 million. The company’s creditors have also consented. But Global Crossing still needs the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. The pleadings stated that the company expects the FCC to sign off on the deal soon. But Global Crossing said it will not receive approval from CFIUS before its deadline. “The debtors are working diligently with their advisors to obtain CFIUS approval of the purchase agreement,” filings stated. “The CFIUS review process is ongoing and will extend beyond the current March 31, 2003 extension of the exclusive filing period.” Global Crossing, which operates a 20,000-mile fiber-optic network, has several contracts with the government. Global Crossing’s advisers have tried to address security concerns by offering to place sensitive parts of its network under the control of a committee with national security clearance, sources say. Previously, the FBI, Pentagon and Department of Justice had asked the FCC to delay its ruling while they investigated national security concerns because Hutchison is based in Hong Kong. Analysts have noted that the secretive CFIUS rarely recommends that the government block a deal but frequently requires modifications before it will advise the government to clear a transaction. Global Crossing would like the deadline moved from the end of this month to the earlier of May 15 or, if the buyout falls apart, two weeks after the termination. In late February, Newark, N.J.-based IDT Corp., a discount long-distance service provider, seized on the impasse in the proceedings, offering to buy Global Crossing for $255 million if it can’t pass regulatory muster. The company and its creditors have said they remain committed to the Hutchison-STT deal. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber is scheduled to consider the extension April 21 and has issued a bridge order extending the exclusive period until the hearing. Separately, Global Crossing said in filings that it is in talks with GE Capital Corp. and Merrill Lynch Capital about a post-bankruptcy working capital facility. The company has asked the court for permission to reimburse the potential lenders’ due diligence expenses from the bankruptcy estate. A hearing is set for March 28. Copyright �2003 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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