LetsBuyIt.com avoids bankruptcy, just

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The Independent Online

Letsbuyit.com, the struggling internet retailer, appeared to have secured its immediate future last night with a 4m euro (£2.5m) financial guarantee that may help it remain solvent.

Letsbuyit.com, the struggling internet retailer, appeared to have secured its immediate future last night with a 4m euro (£2.5m) financial guarantee that may help it remain solvent.

The rescue comes after a Dutch court gave the company four days to find the fresh funds after an application by the firm's administrators to put the loss-making company into bankruptcy. The court is due to rule on the filing this morning.

Though the rescue was not confirmed during market hours, one industry source said: "They've secured the funding."

However, LetsBuyIt still faces a difficult future. It must find a further 30m euros by 14 March to satisfy short-term liquidity needs.

The company filed for court protection from its creditors and stopped taking customer orders in December. Two rival e-tailers emerged as possible buyers earlier this month, but no bids have been tabled.

LetsBuyit, which offers consumers cheap prices on goods by grouping them together to get volume discounts, raised 66m euros when it floated last summer, and recently revealed a five-fold increase in sales for 2000 compared with 1999. It is run from London, listed in Germany, registered in Amsterdam and employs more than 300 staff across Europe.

Its shares closed at 0.23 euros on Germany's Neuer Markt yesterday, up 0.04 euros.

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