The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the state of Massachusetts has granted a motion to compel Blue Casa Telephone to assume or reject the Agent Alliance contract with Trans National Communications International Inc. (TNCI) by the initial closing date of Blue Casa's acquisition of TNCI's assets out of bankruptcy.
According to court documents, the initial closing date would be the end of the month in which FCC approval is given to the transaction.
In a statement to Channel Partners, Blue Casa said it previously told TNCI agents that it would make a decision on each agent contract prior to the initial close, which is targeted to be May 1.
The Agent Alliance March 8 filed a motion to compel Blue Casa to accept or reject its contract with TNCI.
"We're grateful that the court ruled in our favor, but distressed to find ourselves in this position in the first place," said Agent Alliance CEO Bill Power. "We have to protect ourselves, our subagents and our customers, and felt our backs were against the wall."
In a previous interview with Channel Partners, Blue Casa CEO Jeff Compton said the company was interested in securing a deal with agents and requested their patience with the process. "I think that there's an artificial deadline or feeling among some agents that this has to be done immediately," Compton said in a late February interview with Channel Partners, noting that the parties have until the sale's closing to work out a deal.
Power said the Agent Alliance remains hopeful for a fair and mutually beneficial outcome. "There is still the prospect that we may reach an agreement with Blue Casa on the terms of a deal to continue the relationship," Power said. "But given that our discussions have not been meaningful to date, it became necessary to take this action."
The Agent Alliance is seeking several outcomes on behalf of its members and subagents, including:
- Protection for the residual revenue streams
- Payment on debts
- An ongoing commitment to the telecom channel's future
- A competitive portfolio of SMB telecom solutions
- Reasonable compensation for future sales
- Effective, competent back-office support