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ExciteAtHome winds down with 400 job cuts

Sun, 12/16/2001 - 7:00pm
Anne Kerven

It's the beginning of the end. ExciteAtHome began the final phase of its demise as it laid off 400 workers Friday.

The company will go out of business after Feb. 28, following fulfillment of $355 million in recent transition contracts with several ExciteAtHome cable affiliates.

AtHome says about 900 employees will help with the transition services and "an orderly shutdown of the company between Dec. 15 and Feb. 28." As the various projects finish, more job cuts will occur.

Earlier this month, AtHome confirmed it would shut down operations after fulfilling transition contracts with several cablecos. The company had filed for bankruptcy in September, and was pondering a $307 million offer for its assets from AT&T. Bondholder and shareholder groups objected that the assets were worth far more — closer to $5 billion, by some estimates.

On Nov. 30, AtHome's bankruptcy court judge ruled that the company could renegotiate its contracts with the cablecos. At that point, AT&T refused to renegotiate and switched its customers to its new network within a week. It also withdrew its bid for the assets. With no other bidders on the line, AtHome said it would switch its Chapter 11 bankruptcy to a liquidation.

An AtHome spokeswoman did not return calls by CEDaily's deadline.

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