Agency: Fallon London
By GORDON MACMILLAN, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 02 June 2000 12:00AM
The piecemeal sell-off of Boo.com has begun, with the sale of the
technology side of the internet sports retailer for pounds 250,000.
Boo’s liquidators, KPMG, said the business had been sold to the
e-commerce software company Bright Station, headed by Dan Wagner, the
founder of the information group Maid.
The disposal of Boo.com’s e-commerce software for only a fraction of the
millions it cost to develop means that investors and creditors will see
next to nothing of the money they are owed.
Boo.com cost pounds 80 million to develop, money that was poured in by
the company’s main backers, Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of the
luxury goods company LVMH, Benetton and Goldman Sachs.
KPMG is now in talks to sell the Boo name and website.
KMPG confirmed that it is in negotiations with a number of buyers for
these parts of the company. Initial interest was expressed by around a
The technology was one of the main stumbling blocks for Boo. While the
software allowed customers to view products in three dimensions, it was
only accessible by the fastest of computers. Last month, Boo reported
sales of pounds 430,000 for its first quarter. However, trading has been
much slower than many forecasters expected.
The acquisition of Boo’s software will complement Bright Station’s own
e-commerce software, Sparza. Bright Station will also recruit Boo’s
Bright Station itself has just risen from the ashes of collapse. The
company was formerly known as Dialog, a business that Wagner was forced
to sell three months ago due to mounting debts.
However, Wagner has little sympathy for Boo.com investors: ’They went in
with their eyes and their cheque books open.’
Boo called in the liquidators earlier this month after backers refused a
further multi-million pound cash injection to stave off collapse. Its
debts are estimated at pounds 17 million and creditors include the
advertising agency BMP DDB.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk