Wirefly is on the ropes

Either the world is more connected than I thought or I spend too much damned time on the web. (Why can’t it be both?) This might have slipped my notice if I hadn’t come across the blog of Kate Michaels, Ms DC 2006 earlier this week (she’s in Bobbitt’s production of The Secret Garden at Adventure Thearter, which I wrote about the other day) and noticed the banner for the National Marathon in this post. “The Wirefly National Marathon” boasts the website.

Unfortunately it seems that InPhonic, Wirefly’s parent company, is flagging well before the 26th mile marker. They’re seeking chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as they try to sell off their assets after a fairly unpleasant downward spiral over the last few years. Companies come and go and, quite frankly, under normal circumstances the demise of any organization in the cellphone business is more likely to make me cackle than cringe. I hate cellphone companies.

However InPhonic is a local and an employer of over 1,000 people. So aside from wondering how much the bankruptcy judge will let them off the hook for their sponsorship of the 2008 marathon, I wonder how many people are going to be looking for work here in town when the post-sale gutting is complete?

2 Comments so far

  1. Versa (unregistered) on November 10th, 2007 @ 9:07 am

    They are not going out of business. This is a pre-packaged financial restructuring in which the new owner is already identified and the financing is already lined up. They have announced that they will be out of 11 by January. So the jobs aren’t going away. If you look at the list of creditors, the big losers here (other than shareholders) are MSN, Google, and Yahoo!

  2. Don (unregistered) on November 10th, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

    Nobody said they were going out of business. They’re going into re-org, but it’s being done prior to a sale. And when a failing company with annual loses gets sold, that can mean a lot of restructuring and gutting. The probability that it’s just going to be business as usual when it’s all over is slim.

    Quite frankly, the new owners would be complete morons NOT to make major changes, unless they’re making the purchase because they’re excited about the prospect of owning a business with great potential to lose money. It’s the companies that don’t have to shed a bunch of bad debt that you leave running the way they were, not the losers.

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