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Buy.com prepares assault on UK

The man from KFC takes the helm…

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US online superstore Buy.com plans to challenge the likes of Dixons and Jungle.com by launching into the UK market. Buy.com, which sells books, videos and music as well as PC hardware and software, is ready to start a UK version of its Web site, according to today's Financial Times. The launch is being handled by venture capitalists eVentures and is expected to receive a cash injection of between £5 million and £10 million. Murray Hennessy, VP of Tricon Restaurants, will be CEO of the UK venture, which will initially push computer goods before branching out into other products. With nine years developing distribution channels for eateries such as Pizza Hut and KFC under his belt, Hennessy said he was confident Buy.com would avoid the supply pitfalls suffered by rivals. "A lot of start-ups have had severe teething problems with fulfilment," he said. "What differentiates Buy.com is that we are not a start-up. We are building on a tested business model in the US, and benefit from the experience of handling thousands of orders." The California-based outfit currently trades in the US and Canada. In true Internet style, the company turned in pre-tax losses of $80.5 million for the nine months ended 30 September 1999, on sales of $396.2 million. It is currently readying itself for a Nasdaq flotation which is expected to value the company at up to $2 billion (£1.2 billion). ® See also: For other Internet and finance news, visit Cash Register

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