PROVO The mighty team envisioned to end iProvo's financial bleeding was further fragmented Friday as Nuvont Communications backed out of a deal to sell its customer base to Broadweave Networks.
Nuvont will not sell its customer base of 2,300 to South Jordan-based Broadweave, as previously announced in mid-May, because the two companies couldn't strike a satisfactory accord, said Nuvont owner and founder Brandon Grover. But Nuvont will remain on the iProvo network as a service provider.
"We were just unable to arrive at terms that work for both companies," Grover said.
Broadweave spokeswoman Cheryl Snapp Conner they are disappointed they didn't acquire Nuvont's customers.
Nuvont is the second service provider to opt out of a deal with Broadweave. Veracity Communications was slated to merge with Broadweave once it bought iProvo from the city, but backed out of the deal shortly after Provo and Broadweave reached a "modified closing" in the transaction June 30.
City Councilman Steve Turley said this latest development doesn't bode well for Broadweave or the city. He said the City Council approved the $40.6 million iProvo sale based on the assumption that Broadweave would absorb Veracity's technical expertise, Nuvont's salesmanship and MSTARmetro's customer base to become a "mighty team."
The council also expected Sorenson Capital to guarantee Broadweave's monthly bond payments with a $6 million surety agreement.
Thus far, Turley said, Broadweave has only bought up MSTARmetro's clientele, and he has heard Sorenson Capital might jump ship, as well.
"The mighty team has had bits and pieces fall off it," Turley said. "This thing has lost an awful lot of momentum."
Sorenson Capital spokesman David Parkinson said the company declined to comment because the company is still completing its due diligence in the sale.
"They just can't comment because of the legal obligations they are under," he said.
But Turley still worries Broadweave could falter in its financial obligations to Provo's bond payments for the network, and iProvo could fall back into the city's lap. If that happens, he said, Provo would have no way to operate the system, because 14 of the city's 15 iProvo technicians have moved on to work for other networks.
"This nightmare just goes on," he said.
Turley said he and other council members believe the city should have a contingency plan in place, in case the final closing between Provo and Broadweave goes south.
City Councilman George Stewart said he's disappointed Nuvont won't sell its customer base to Broadweave, but the city already has a Plan B written into its agreement with Broadweave.
"If they somehow decide not to buy iProvo, they still have a legal obligation to run it until we can resume running the network," he said.
Mayor Lewis Billings said the agreement between Provo and Broadweave was never dependent on any agreements between Broadweave and the service providers, and he expects the company will do whatever it can to be successful. Despite a few "bumps," Billings said he sees positive indicators the network is turning around."Any business will have challenges, and so far, Broadweave has done a great job handling the challenges that have come its way," he said.
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