KPN reaches tentative settlement over KPNQwest bankruptcy

BRUSSELS Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:06am EST

BRUSSELS Nov 19 (Reuters) - Dutch telecoms group KPN said on Tuesday that it had reached a tentative agreement to pay 50 million euros ($67.6 million) to settle litigation related to the bankruptcy of its former joint venture KPNQwest.

KPNQwest, a wholesale fibre-optic telecoms venture between U.S. phone carrier Qwest, since acquired by CenturyLink, and KPN for corporate customers, was listed in 1999 but went bankrupt in 2002 after the telecoms and technology bubble burst.

The trustees accused KPNQwest of mismanagement and held its shareholders liable for damages. It had been seeking 2.2 billion euros.

KPN said in a statement on Tuesday that it, CenturyLink and the trustees had reached a tentative agreement for a potential total settlement of 260 million euros, towards which KPN would contribute 50 million euros.

The tentative agreement is subject to several conditions, including the approval of the Dutch bankruptcy court.

Assuming a definitive settlement is agreed, litigation will end and KPN will waive certain claims against the bankruptcy estate.