Global Crossing chief executive John Legere said he will be 'very surprised' if rival bidders do not emerge to challenge Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) for control of the bankrupt telecommunications concern. However, Mr Legere gave his backing to the US$750 million joint bid and said it would not be derailed by probes initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States into the firm's accounting practices. Mr Legere said potential buyers had expressed an interest, although none had made an offer. 'I would be very surprised if other bids do not emerge. It is such a great asset, and the price is going to stand the market test,' he said. At least one group that comprised a financial institution with a telecoms carrier has shown interest, according to chief financial officer Dan Cohrs. The Hutchison-STT proposals face some hurdles, including political opposition and the need to secure the agreement of creditors. In the latest snag, the US Department of Defence is delaying a US$450 million contract because of the bankruptcy filing and national security concerns, The New York Times reported yesterday. Unsecured bank creditors of Global Crossing formed a committee last week and have been asking for more time to consider their position. Interested parties must submit bids before April 23. Hutchison and STT are asking creditors to take a haircut of more than 84 per cent, proposing to replace their US$7 billion of debts with US$300 million in cash and US$800 million in debt in the restructured company. Hutchison and STT will hold a combined 79 per cent stake, with creditors getting 21 per cent of the equity. Existing shareholders will receive nothing. Mr Legere said the Hutchison-STT proposal validated the underlying value of the company. 'From a personal standpoint, I know them. I trust them. I know I could work with them,' said Mr Legere, who was chief executive of the company's regional subsidiary, Asia Global Crossing, before becoming chief executive of the parent in October last year. Mr Legere did not believe anti-Asian sentiment would block the deal. One US congressman claimed last week that Hutchison's bid should be rejected because of chairman Li Ka-shing's close links to the mainland. 'As with a German group buying a French national network, or a Japanese group buying a domestic Chinese network, I think there is an inevitable question . . . about security [when assets are] owned by a foreign entity,' Mr Legere said. 'Unfortunately, it only takes one voice . . . to speak loudly in one newspaper to make it sound like a national issue.' Mr Legere suggested that the company had come under scrutiny because of the Enron collapse, which has focused global attention on accounting practices. Global Crossing spent US$15 billion and five years building a global fibre-optic network but was hit by a glut of capacity and plunging prices for bandwidth. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. Mr Legere said the fate of Asia Global Crossing was undetermined, but he was opposed to a sale to finance parental debt. 'The second this global network is dissected, and the ability to serve the global basis is changed, we lose our differentiation,' he said.