Japan's Willcom Leaves Bankruptcy Protection
Published on: 2nd Jul 2013
By: Ian Mansfield
Japanese PHS network operator Willcom has secured an exit from being monitored by the Tokyo bankruptcy courts and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Softbank Mobile.
Willcom filed for court monitored rehabilitation in February 2010, and was bought by Softbank in December 2010 as part of the court approved process.
The cumulative number of subscribers of Willcom (total of PHS and 3G service) once exceeded 4.66 million at the end of July 2007, but declined to 3.78 million at the end of December 2010.
However, under Softbank control, Willcom implemented a rapid succession of initiatives and as a result, the net subscriber additions turned positive after 19 months of net losses in January 2011. Since then, the cumulative number of subscribers continues to increase and stood at 5.45 million at the end of May 2013.
Along with the increase in subscribers, Willcom's quarterly operating income turned positive in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, and is sustaining its positive trend.
As the business results are improving steadily, Willcom made a lump-sum repayment of the rehabilitation claims, and filed a petition with the Tokyo District Court for the termination of its rehabilitation proceedings.
The court has now approved that request, and as a consequence, Willcom will be formally consolidated as a Softbank subsidiary company.