eisa goes down and Austar steps in

eisa goes down and Austar steps in

As expected, eisa has appointed a voluntary administrator to sell off the financially struggling ISP business while pay-TV provider Austar has moved in to pick up the crumbs.

The eisa Board of Directors has appointed Andrew Love of Ferrier Hodgson as its administrator. Love told ARN he has already begun discussions with Austar about selling eisa's assets in full.

Austar head of corporate affairs, Bruce Meagher, told ARN that while creditors of eisa can breathe a sigh of relief, the eisa shareholders which refused to sanction the failed takeover bid are unlikely to receive much benefit from the decision.

"Administrators first and foremost look after the interests of creditors," he said. "Unfortunately it is the case that shareholders don't get much from it."

But both Meagher and Austar CEO John Porter have given eisa customers assurances that they will be served well under Austar. Meagher also hopes Austar will not need to undertake any major scaling back of eisa staff.

"The reality is that the problem eisa had was that it had geared up to buy OzEmail, and expected to become a large company with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, then all of a sudden they weren't," he said. "So eisa has scaled back the size of the company since then, and done a lot of that work for us. The remaining staff can have some comfort that there isn't a need for that kind of operation."

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