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Creditors file last-minute objections to Global Crossing rescue plan


LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Creditors owed billions of dollars by Global Crossing Ltd. have had their last chance to register objections to a $750 million rescue plan proposed by the company.

A bankruptcy hearing on Wednesday was expected to generate competing bids for troubled fiber-optics company, which filed the fourth-largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case ever in January. Debtors had until Tuesday night to file objections to the rescue plan.

Earlier this month, FleetBoston Financial Corp.'s Fleet National Bank, owed about $77 million by Global Crossing, filed an objection to a bid by Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, claiming the offer to be insufficient and the termination fee too high.

``It only takes one objection for bidders to be able to start lining up,'' said William Brandt, a bankruptcy expert and president of Development Specialists of Chicago. ``Anybody can make a bid.''

Global Crossing has already received offers of interest from at least 40 potential bidders, chief executive John Legere said last week.

Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday said it wants to determine whether Global Crossing concealed its true financial condition, similar to the way Enron has acknowledged misstating earnings, revenue and debt.

Global Crossing, based in Bermuda but run from Beverly Hills, Calif., spent $15 billion over five years building a 100,000-mile fiber-optic network, only to see its fortunes decline last year amid weak demand and investors' increasing concerns about the company's debts.
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