LeisurePlanet torpedoes UK sub

Little local difficulty for online retailer

LeisurePlanet Holdings, the US/South African-owned Internet player, has placed its UK online travel subsidiary, Leisureplanet.com, into administration.

In a press statement, LeisurePlanet Holdings said it was forced to make the move as a "direct consequence of the changed market conditions whereby capital is no longer available to fund ambitious business-to-consumer plans that incur losses".

What a difference a few months makes - on 11 April, Leisureplanet.com announced its intention to roll out 30-country specific local language sites during 2000.

The company will use the breathing space to renegotiate debts and to restructure the operation as a "smaller, profitable business-to-business company focusing on the distribution of hotel content and inventory across a broad variety of online and offline platforms".

Leisureplanet.com currently has distribution agreements in place with, among others, CNN.com, Yahoo!, Lycos and Infospace. Presumably, these will now come to an end.

Leisure Planet Holdings is ringfenced from the problems at the online travel agency. The group has $6 million cash in the bank and expects another $36 million in cash, upon the sale of certain South African assets. It will use this money to "rebuild shareholder value". ®

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