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Online Retailer Boo.com Collapses

May 18, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ British online retailer of trendy sports clothing Boo.com has collapsed just six months after its launch, becoming the first major European Internet business to close down.

Boo.com Group Ltd. made a last-ditch effort to raise additional funding, but late Wednesday night shareholders voted to call in consultants KPMG to liquidate the company’s assets.

The closure will result in the loss of about 300 jobs and deal a blow to Europe’s Internet industry.

Founded by two Swedes, Boo.com was said to be worth about $400 million at the peak of the Internet market frenzy last year.

But a combination of high setup costs and an inability to attract enough customers led to its demise.

Co-owners Kajsa Leander and Ernst Malmsten issued a joint statement expressing their disappointment.

``The senior management of Boo.com has made strong efforts over the last few weeks to raise the additional funds which would have allowed the company to go forward with a clear plan,″ they said in the written statement.

Their plan envisioned a restructuring of retail operations and the identification of partners.

``It’s all the more disappointing to the management and staff alike that it is not been possible to bring this to fruition against the background of steadily improved trading,″ the owners said.

French entrepreneur Bernard Arnault and Italy’s Benetton family were among the shareholders.

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