managed to stay afloat, barely, for another 11 days as its creditors agreed to provide $3 million in financing while the distressed satellite communications company looks for a white knight to replace Craig McCaw.
McCaw, the cellular telephone pioneer, and his private investment firm,
Eagle River Investments
, pulled out of a $5 million interim financing deal for Iridium last Friday.
, the biggest shareholder in Iridium, has declined to provide further financing on its own to keep the company from shutting down.
Iridium, based in Washington, D.C., has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors since August, and it faces liquidation if it cannot find a buyer.
Iridium put a brave face on the matter. "We have received expressions of interest from other potential buyers," said Randall Brouckman, Iridum's chief operating officer, in a statement. "Much attention has been afforded the potential McCaw bid."
But Iridium has not identified the other potential buyers, and no one has come forward.
Iridium originally had paid about $5 billion to build its network of 66 satellites, which began operations in 1998. The company had expected its service to grow sharply, but its revenue has since fallen flat and its subscriber base has stagnated despite price cuts.
In rebuffing Iridium, McCaw said he planned to concentrate on buying
ICO Global Communications
and building out
, a global satellite voice and data network that he founded with Bill Gates, the
chairman. Currently under construction, Teledesic is expected to be completed by 2004.