Saving WorldCom: An Impossible Dream?

Like predecessor Bernard Ebbers, new CEO John Sidgmore dismisses talk of bankruptcy. The big difference is his willingness to sell assets

How many times can you sell the same company? WorldCom (WCOM ) Vice-Chairman John W. Sidgmore joked at staff meetings not long ago that he had sold his former Internet backbone company UUNET Technologies twice -- first to MFS Communications and again to WorldCom when it bought MFS. So why not sell UUNET again, this time to help raise cash to pare WorldCom's crushing $30 billion in debt? "Heck, I'd be happy to make a third fortune," teased Sidgmore, according to former staffers who attended the meetings.

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