KPNQwest hopes to sell assets to stay afloat –

Dutch Internet services company KPNQwest NV, on the verge of bankruptcy, is advising customers to put contingency plans into place as its financial situation deteriorates.

KPNQwest hopes to sell part of its business by Friday afternoon to meet its most urgent financial obligations. A deal is being crafted whereby "certain noncritical assets" will be sold, according to the company. The proceeds should "most likely secure the continuity of the network for the immediate future," KPNQwest said in a statement.

Still, customers "may wish to put in place contingency plans with other providers in the event of a significant deterioration in the performance of the KPNQwest" network, the company said, adding that it is helping customers get a backup provider.

KPNQwest filed for bankruptcy protection last week. The company's management and court-appointed administrators are also working to sell "a substantial part of the KPNQwest Group," including the central European operations. However, it could be another three to five weeks before an agreement is reached, KPNQwest said.

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, KPNQwest accumulated about

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