Qwest wants more time to evaluate customer contracts, saying delays in gaining access to documents have left it at a disadvantage to Gores and other suitors. Koch Data Centers LLC made a similar filing, also seeking an extension until Tuesday.
The filings confirm reports that numerous parties are weighing bids for Cable & Wireless America (CWA), which was placed in Chapter 11 protection Dec. 8 as part of the sale agreement with Gores, a California investment firm. Other reported suitors include Level 3 Communications, WilTel Communications, Oaktree Capital Management and Cerberus Capital Management.
The court set a deadline of 5 p.m. today (Jan. 16) for bidders to submit offers, with an auction scheduled to follow on Tuesday. Qwest and Koch each want to be given until 5 pm on Tuesday (Jan. 20) to submit bids and gain a seat at Wednesday's auction. It was not immediately clear when the court would rule on the extension requests.
Qwest's interest in acquiring CWA's hosting assets comes barely a year after a major downsizing of its own hosting unit. In December 2002, Qwest said it would shutter or sell eight of its 16 data centers.
C&W announced its intention to exit the US hosting market back in June, and has since closed eight US data centers and reduced staffing by 1,000 workers, cutting costs by $167 million (100 million pounds) from the second half of 2002.