FairPoint emerges from bankruptcy

Posted Jan. 24, 2011, at 6:29 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Fairpoint Communications has emerged from bankruptcy reorganization nearly 15 months after filing for Chapter 11 with a crushing debt load and a battered financial sheet.

FairPoint said its reorganization plan became effective Monday, 11 days after being approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the southern district of New York.

As a result of the restructuring, FairPoint said it has reduced its debt from $2.8 billion to about $1 billion, allowing it to focus more attention on customers, vendors and employees.

FairPoint is based in Charlotte, N.C., and owns telephone companies in 18 states, with its largest holdings in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. It filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 26, 2009, barely 18 months after buying Verizon’s northern New England land-line telephone and Internet operations for $2.3 billion.