Primus in creditor protection as it completes sale to U.S. bidder


Primus, a phone, long-distance and internet reseller with more than 225,000 Canadian purchasers, is in creditor protection as it negotiates sale of its assets to a U.S. telecom firm.

Primus has been endeavour a buyer since August as debt mounted and it became unable to y its charges.

On Tuesday it was granted creditor protection, saying it needed time to restructure and unabated negotiations to sell its assets to Birch Communications Inc., based in Atlanta.

Primus is to maintain operating as usual while it restructures. It has until Feb. 18 to complete the buy.

In court filings, it said consumers are shifting to cheaper mobile procedures and faster internet, eating into its legacy business. The major transporters are also able to offer more attractive bundles of phone, internet and TV, inducing away some of its customers.

The com ny offers home phone, long-distance phone, VoiP2, business cards and internet services, but doesn’t operate its own networks, buying enlargement service from other carriers such as Bell, Allstream and Telus.

It has 204,000 residential accounts and 23,000 commercial accounts in Canada, on balance in Ontario, and 27,000 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For home phone service, it is one of the few variants to Bell and Telus.

Primus said in its court filings that it has $101 million in debts and its takings has been declining nine per cent a year since 2012.

But it has high set overhead costs, primarily from purchasing service from other carriers.

The visitors said its gross revenue decreased from $229 million in the budgetary year ended 2012 to $199 million in 2013 to $180 million in 2014.

For 2015, gross income is forecast to fall to $116 million and the com ny expects a net loss of $13 million.

The court filings do not say whether it layouts to cut staff or cease operations in markets where it does not have a chiefly subscriber base.

Primus employs 502 people in Canada and 28 in the U.S.

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