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Boo.com has dismissed claims that it is about to become the first high-profile dotcom to go down the pan.

Reports about the demise of the trendy fashion e-tailer are said to be premature despite speculation that unless the outfit can raise 19 million, it will become the sartorial equivalent of the shell suit.

A remarkably calm and unruffled spokeswoman for the company said: "I won't have anything to tell you until it's [additional funding] been signed, sealed and delivered."

She said she expected a new financing agreement to be in place either "this week or next".

That, though, might not be enough. Some reports claim that Boo.com will shut down for good in the next couple of days unless it can secure funding. The sticking point appears to be whether anyone can match funding by Boo.com's main backer, French billionaire Bernard Arnault. He is reportedly happy to cough up the additional cash if other investors can match him pound for pound - or euro for euro.

It is these other investors - JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and 21 Investimenti - which it is said are not so keen.

In January, Boo.com sacked 70 employees in Britain and the US despite only launching the service less than three months before hand.

In March Pegasus Research International carried out research for Barron's, the Dow Jones & Company's business and financial weekly magazine, which said that time -- and money - was running out for some dotcoms. In the very worst cases, companies would have to sell out or face financial oblivion, it said. ®

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