OMNE Communications, the Ayrshire-based broadband

telecoms firm which tumbled into administration last year, yesterday announced that it had been saved from almost certain collapse after a London property firm invested (pounds) 4.1m.

The deal, which gives CLS Holdings, a company with commercial property interests in the UK, France and Sweden, a 76% stake in Omne, was approved by creditors on Wednesday.

Omne, which is in the middle of a three-year network building programme, had blamed its troubles on ''uncertainty and lack of confidence in the telecoms sector'', as it had been unable to secure sufficient new funding. It was placed in administration after one of its original US investors failed to inject funds as originally envisioned.

The firm provides digital television, telephone, and high-speed broadband internet services to about 4500 residential and small business customers in south-west Scotland and north-west England.

The administrators, BDO Stoy Hayward, were called in last May, halving Omne's 200-strong payroll in Scotland and north-west England.

David Hill, joint administrator and partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, said: ''We have had to make some tough decisions to turn the fortunes of Omne around, but we have maintained a full service to all customers and retained about 30% of the workforce.

''Omne's core business was robust and we received overwhelming support from creditors and shareholders throughout the administration.''

Omne currently has a workforce of 45, about 30 of which are based at the company's Irvine headquarters - all of whose jobs have been secured by the deal.

CLS, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has market capitalisation of about (pounds) 200m and a property portfolio worth around (pounds) 830m.

Omne is CLS's second telecoms investment. It took a 46% stake in WightCable, a cable, telephone and broadband provider on the Isle of Wight - which was also bought out of administration - in 2000.

CLS yesterday said it had appointed telecoms specialists Kjell Nilsson and Mat During as joint managing directors of Omne. Nilsson said: ''Now that the company has been bought out of administration, we aim to ramp up activity by securing new customers and restarting the build programme.''

Before calling in the administrators, Omne had already sunk (pounds) 70m into telecoms infrastructure. The company said it had laid more than 500km of fibre in the ground, connecting some 46,000 homes in south-west Scotland and north-west England and giving a large potential customer base.

CSL said it was committed to the long-term future of Omne and would continue the roll-out of broadband services to homes and business.

A spokesman said the company's first order of business would be to beef up Omne's sales and marketing team, with a view to increasing the subscriber base.