PTV, Inc. (Formerly NTL Incorporated)

On January 10, 2003, NTL, Inc., the largest operator of cable assets in Europe, consummated its reorganization plan. As a result, old NTL was split into two separate and independent public entities – new NTL, Inc. (the current owner of old NTL’s United Kingdom and Irish cable assets) and NTL Europe, Inc. (the entity renamed as PTV, Inc.). Upon consummation, PTV held old NTL’s troubled cable assets in continental Europe (including Cablecom GmbH, Switzerland’s largest cable company), as well as non-cable businesses in the United Kingdom.

 

In September 2002, the Unsecured Creditors Committee of old NTL retained Quest Turnaround Advisors to develop a plan to manage the business upon PTV’s emergence as an independent entity. Quest provided the services of Jeffrey Brodsky, who became CEO, and Robert Schmitz, who became COO.

 

The Quest team developed business and financial plans for each of the company’s assets and made quick decisions about which assets were worth holding, revitalizing, closing, or selling. They hired new CEO’s of two new media businesses, Premium TV, Ltd. and Two Way TV, Ltd.and guided them through operating and strategic changes that saved the businesses. They renegotiated $86 million of parent company guarantees and a number of other non-viable commercial contracts.

 

The strategy was to restructure to preserve equity value and distribute the maximum amount of cash possible to preferred stockholders, The Quest team distributed $23.50 per share after trading at $2.50 upon exit from Chapter 11.

 

Specific restructuring results include:

 

  • Restructured and sold Two Way TV, Ltd., a worldwide leader in interactive television technology. Quest reduced head count by 40%, hired a new CEO and led the company through a UK administration process to clean up the balance sheet and give the business a fresh start.

 

  • Restructured CHF 3.8 billion of Cablecom debt in one of the largest out of court restructurings of an over-indebted company in Swiss history.

 

  • Negotiated a $42 million settlement through the sale of NTL’s Paris cable system NOOS.

 

  • Negotiated commercial contracts with joint venture partners in Internet services (Premium TV, Ltd.) and sports television business to eliminate £43 million of parent company guarantees and generated $10 million cash through restructuring. At the same time, Quest doubled paid subscribers to 75,000, cut staff 50%, and broke even within 15 months of taking control. Sold business for $54 million.

 

  • Eliminated $25 million in capital contributions and a $7.5 million parent company guarantee by rejecting capital calls to three joint venture companies deemed unviable.

 

  • Engineered a 50,000 for 1 reverse split reducing the number of record holders of the common shares to under 300. This enabled the company to file a Form 15 with the SEC and delist its shares, essentially converting PTV to a private company.

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