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Dotcom asks for four week reprieve

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Letsbuyit.com saw its management resign en masse today, while the debt-ridden dotcom said it needed four weeks to sort its finances out.

John Palmer, the British-based site's founder and a member of the supervisory board, has stepped in as temporary CEO, replacing Martin Coles. Palmer and two court appointed administrators, Paul Schaink and Marten Drop, from Dutch law firm Termite van Doormen, are to act as management at the bulk-buying site.

The company, which is a Dutch-registered business listed on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt, saw its share price halve yesterday. Today it said it hoped closure could be avoided - and asked for the four week period to "further investigate the current financial situation and any future scenarios to continue operations", Reuters reports.

"The company is intending to continue to talk to potential investors during this period and is aiming to resume sales as of the earliest possible date," it added.

The announcement followed two days of talks with administrators.

Its shares gained seven per cent today, closing at 0.58 euros (54 cents) - trading in the stock was suspended on December 29 after the company announced it wanted a debt moratorium. The suspension was lifted yesterday.

Meanwhile, US online toy merchant toys today announced it would shut its European operations, with its UK site due to close on January 19. ®

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