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Pac-West Emerges from Bankruptcy; New Execs Take Over

Wholesale service provider Pac-West Telecomm Inc. has exited from bankruptcy with new owners, executives and strategies.

The Stockton, Calif.-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May and emerged Dec. 1, 2007, although it didnt make any announcements until Wednesday.

Pac-West now is owned by privately held Columbia Ventures Corp. (CVC), the investor that provided $18.5 million in debtor-in-possession financing last year. To that end, CVC has appointed three new leaders: Robert Hal Turner is the new CEO; Andrew Burroughs publicly will be declared COO next week; and the as-yet-unnamed CFO will be unveiled next month.

Turner replaces Wallace Griffin, a former president and CEO for Pac-West who again assumed that role when the company filed Chapter 11. Turner has worked in telecom for nearly 30 years. Most recently he founded his own consultancy, Turner Telecom Holdings Group LLC. Burroughs, meanwhile, has worked for TeleGlobe (now VSNL International) and Sprint International. He takes over for Shawn ODonnell.

Theres a lot in store for Pac-West, say Turner and Burroughs, who have worked together before.

Turner plans to use CVCs other portfolio companies which include CLEC One Communications to help Pac-West branch out beyond wholesale services. For example, Pac-West will offer broadband transport; information and content such as directory services; and collaboration and managed services, said Turner. In addition, Pac-West likely will target enterprises and SMBs.

We certainly can see some possibilities there, he said, but nothing has yet been cemented.

Burroughs added that Pac-West leaders want to restore the providers one-time cross-country network. That probably would happen through partnerships, he noted.

We want to see ourselves expand back to the East Coast, he said.

Theres also a chance Pac-West will get into the international termination market, Burroughs said.

Pac-West went bankrupt as revenue from ISPs continued to decline, even as Pac-West spent millions of dollars building out its network. It also had sold its retail business to TelePacific in March 2005, eliminating another source of income. Now, the providers new executives hope to make the most of Pac-West assets, and with a clean balance sheet. That could include a merger. Turner wouldnt commit to whether investors have examined that possibility seriously, but he said, Our eyes are wide open in terms of opportunities and what may happen, so we exclude nothing at this point.

Columbia Ventures Corp. www.colventures.com
One Communications www.onecommunications.com
Pac-West Telecomm www.pac-west.com

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