A New York-based wireless phone company has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, according to a bankruptcy lawyer close to the case. Personal Communications Devices LLC filed for Chapter 11 protection and announced layoffs totaling just under 150 people. The company reported over $100 million in debts at the filing, with assets somewhere between one and $500 million.
According to a bankruptcy lawyer close to the case, the company cited poor sales as a result of outdated phone technology and overstock in old model phones. Personal Communications Devices LLC never made the jump into the smart phone market, maintaining large warehouses of devices without the capabilities of newer phones. Inability to agree on the market value of these obsolescent devices is a big reason the company’s net worth varies so dramatically in their Chapter 11 documents. The cellular phone business moves with amazing speed from one new technology to the next, and the company found themselves with loads of product nobody wanted anymore.
In addition, there was the fractious departure of the company’s former CEO, which ended in litigation when the company accused him of “poaching” former employees to work at his new company. The CEO denied the rumors, commenting only that his departure caused much dissatisfaction in the company’s ranks, resulting in many employee departures.
After the announced layoffs, Personal Communications Devices LLC will have just a fraction of the employees it had before, nearly 90% less.
Another wireless company, Quality One Wireless LLC out of Florida, will be purchasing the company’s remaining business assets.