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Angel investor backs out of BTel bailout

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Business Telecom (BTel) said late Friday that an angel investor who had promised to inject HUF 950 mln in the company had backed out, an act the board would not accept, MTI news agency reported on Saturday. The troubled telco was placed under interim management early in December, a month after it was announced the investor, Timur Rahimkulov, would inject HUF 950 mln in the company.

Magyar Telekom is suing BTel for HUF 944 mln in unpaid bills, and a subscriber of the company's corporate bonds has launched a liquidation procedure against it. BTel said on Friday that Rahimkulov chose not to inject capital in the company due to information on its business and liquidity position that he became aware of only after committing to the capital raise. The board argued that the investor was aware when the commitment to raise capital in the company was made and said it would hold Rahimkulov to his contract.

On Wednesday, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) suspended trade in BTel's shares and corporate bonds because of a violation by the company of rules on extraordinary disclosures and fined it HUF 8.5 mln. It also ordered the firm to make an extraordinary announcement immediately but no later than one working day. On Friday, before BTel made its announcement, the MNB fined the company an additional HUF 5 mln for the same violation. On Saturday, the MNB lifted the suspension of trade in BTel's shares and bonds from the start of the exchange day today.

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