Federal Communications Commission Approves Frontier’s Chapter 11 Restructuring
Frontier Communications Corporation (OTC: FTRCQ) (“Frontier Communications”) announced today that it has secured approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its Chapter 11 restructuring. Frontier now has regulatory approvals, or favorable determinations, for its required change-in-control applications related to its court-supervised restructuring from the FCC and 13 states: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Frontier expects to promptly consummate the transactions contemplated under its previously confirmed Plan of Reorganization and emerge from Chapter 11 in early 2021. Upon emergence, Frontier will have reduced its total outstanding indebtedness by more than $10 billion and will move forward with enhanced financial flexibility to support continued investment in an improved customer experience and long-term growth.
“We continue to make important progress in our constructive engagement with regulators across our service territories, and this approval from the FCC marks a major milestone,” said Bernie Han, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to await approval in just four states and are working to expedite those approvals to enable the Company to emerge from Chapter 11. Our team remains focused on our transformative strategy to strengthen our financial foundation, improve our operations and enhance our customer experience throughout the U.S.”
Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO of USTelecom said, “We are pleased by the FCC’s affirmative decision for Frontier. More than ever, Frontier serves a vital function in providing essential telecommunications services. This decision is a major step toward successfully completing the Company’s restructuring, enabling it to move forward in delivering services to its customers and creating benefits for communities across the U.S.”
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed the Company’s Plan of Reorganization in August 2020.
Additional information regarding Frontier’s financial restructuring is available at www.frontierrestructuring.com. Court filings and information about the claims process are available at https://cases.primeclerk.com/ftr, by calling the Company’s claims agent, Prime Clerk, toll-free at (877)-433-8020 or sending an email to email@example.com.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal advisor, Evercore is serving as financial advisor and FTI Consulting, Inc. is serving as restructuring advisor to the Company.
About Frontier Communications
Frontier Communications Corporation (OTC: FTRCQ) offers a variety of services to residential and business customers over its fiber-optic and copper networks in 25 states, including video, high-speed internet, advanced voice, and Frontier Secure® digital protection solutions. Frontier Business™ offers communications solutions to small, medium, and enterprise businesses.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” related to future events. Forward-looking statements address Frontier Communications’ expected future business, financial performance, and financial condition, and contain words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “see,” “may,” “will,” “would,” or “target.” Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For Frontier Communications, particular uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different than those expressed in such forward-looking statements include: our ability to continue as a going concern; our ability to successfully consummate the restructuring of our existing debt, existing equity interests, and certain other obligations (the “Restructuring”), and emerge from the Chapter 11 Cases in Bankruptcy Court, including by satisfying both the conditions in the Plan and the conditions and milestones in the restructuring support agreement; our ability to improve our liquidity and long-term capital structure and to address our debt service obligations through the Restructuring and the potential adverse effects of the Chapter 11 Cases on our liquidity and results of operations; our ability to maintain relationships with suppliers, customers, employees and other third parties as a result of the Restructuring and the Chapter 11 Cases; the effects of the Restructuring and the Chapter 11 Cases on us and the interests of various constituents; risks and uncertainties associated with the Restructuring, including our ability to satisfy the conditions precedent for effectiveness of and successfully consummate the Restructuring in accordance with the Plan under the Chapter 11 Cases; our ability to comply with the restrictions imposed by covenants in our debtor-in-possession financing and expected to be imposed by our exit financing; the length of time that we will operate under Chapter 11 protection and the continued availability of operating capital during the pendency of the Chapter 11 Cases; risks associated with third party motions in the Chapter 11 Cases, which may interfere with the Company’s ability to consummate the Restructuring; increased administrative and legal costs related to the Chapter 11 process; declines in revenue from our voice services, switched and nonswitched access and video and data services that we cannot stabilize or offset with increases in revenue from other products and services; our ability to successfully implement strategic initiatives, including opportunities to enhance revenue and realize productivity improvements; our ability to effectively manage our operations, operating expenses, capital expenditures, debt service requirement and cash paid for income taxes and liquidity; competition from cable, wireless and wireline carriers, satellite, and over the top companies, and the risk that we will not respond on a timely or profitable basis; our ability to successfully adjust to changes in the communications industry, including the effects of technological changes and competition on our capital expenditures, products and service offerings; risks related to disruption in our networks, infrastructure and information technology that result in customer loss and/or incurrence of additional expenses; the impact of potential information technology or data security breaches or other cyber-attacks or other disruptions; our ability to retain or attract new customers and to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; our ability to secure, continue to use or renew intellectual property and other licenses used in our business; changes to our board of directors and management team upon our emergence from bankruptcy or in anticipation of emergence, and our ability to hire or retain key personnel; our ability to dispose of certain assets or asset groups on terms that are attractive to us, or at all; the effects of changes in the availability of federal and state universal service funding or other subsidies to us and our competitors and our ability to obtain future federal and state universal service funding and other subsidies; our ability to meet our Connect America Fund (“CAF”) Phase II obligations and the risk of penalties or obligations to return certain CAF Phase II funds; our ability to defend against litigation and potentially unfavorable results from current pending and future litigation; our ability to comply with applicable federal and state consumer protection requirements; the effects of state regulatory requirements that could limit our ability to transfer cash among our subsidiaries or dividend funds up to the parent company; the effects of governmental legislation and regulation on our business, including costs, disruptions, possible limitations on operating flexibility and changes to the competitive landscape resulting from such legislation or regulation; the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; government infrastructure projects (such as highway construction) that impact our capital expenditures; continued reductions in switched access revenues as a result of regulation, competition or technology substitutions; our ability to effectively manage service quality in the states in which we operate and meet mandated service quality metrics; the effects of changes in income tax rates, tax laws, regulations or rulings, or federal or state tax assessments, including the risk that such changes may benefit our competitors more than us, as well as potential future decreases in the value of our deferred tax assets; the effects of changes in accounting policies or practices, including potential future impairment charges with respect to our intangible assets or additional losses on assets held for sale; the effects of increased medical expenses and pension and postemployment expenses; our ability to successfully renegotiate union contracts; changes in pension plan assumptions, interest rates, discount rates, regulatory rules and/or the value of our pension plan assets, which could require us to make increased contributions to the pension plan in 2020 and beyond; adverse changes in economic, political and market conditions in the areas that we serve, the U.S. and globally, including but not limited to, changes resulting from epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks of contagious diseases, including the COVID-19 pandemic, or other adverse public health developments; and potential adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations, including potential disruptions to the work of our employees arising from health and safety measures such as social distancing and working remotely, our ability to effectively manage increased demand on our network, our ability to maintain relationships with our current or prospective customers and vendors as well as their abilities to perform under current or proposed arrangements with us, and stress on our supply chain. Forward-looking statements are also subject to the risk factors and cautionary language described from time to time in the reports the Company files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any updates thereto in the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. These risks and uncertainties may cause actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Frontier Communications has no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements and does not undertake to do so.