Letsbuyit.com Moratorium Lifted

An Amsterdam court has lifted the moratorium on troubled e-tailer Letsbuyit.com, two weeks after the company found investors willing to put up 52 million euros ($47 million) to keep it afloat.

Martin Nijstad, the lawyer named as spokesman for the law firm that took over the company at the end of last year when it seemed headed for certain bankruptcy, confirmed the end of the moratorium.

He would not, however, reveal the names of the investors who came to the company's rescue. Initially Letsbuyit.com had found 4 million euros, enough to postpone bankruptcy and buy the time needed to find other investors.

While the Web site still does not accept new orders, it did contain explanations of what happened. The 1.1 million customers who used the site's group buying model were told they could safely buy on the site.

The point of the sales moratorium, a special page on the site said, was to “provide a breathing space in which to assess the company's finances, and enabled us to raise the money to continue.

“In fact, the response from investors has been so positive that we have enough funds now to take us through to profitability towards the end of 2002.”

But resumption of business will be on a far more modest scale than the high burn rate that marked its activities last year, when it ran sites in 15 countries.

Regular business was slated to begin early this month on sites in Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Sweden. Earlier, the firm had dismissed 200 of its 350 employees.

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