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Beenz denies it's about to be canned

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Beenz - the outfit that created a "currency" for the Internet - has denied it is to shut down within the next three weeks but it has confirmed it is seeking a buyer for all, or part, of the business.

The loyalty scheme-based dotcom was responding to an email sent to users from a Beenz-trading outfit last week.

The email said: "It has come to our attention that beenz.com will cease all activities within the next two or three weeks, no doubt beenz.com will be contacting you shortly to inform you that beenz will no longer be redeemable."

A spokesman for Beenz denied the imminent closure of the business but admitted that all but two of Beenz's office (in London and New York) are closing with the loss of some 30 jobs.

At the end of March, Beenz admitted that it had sacked 180 staff, reducing its global workforce from a peak of 265 to just 60.

This latest round of closures and job cuts means that just 30 people worked for Beenz as of April.

With operations in just two countries and many of those dotcoms that redeemed Beenz now out of business, it's hard to see how execs can turn the situation around.

In a statement, Beenz said: "The Board of Directors of beenz.com Inc has, over the past several months, taken extensive steps to rationalise the business in response to rapidly deteriorating conditions in the sectors from which its revenues have been derived.

"In response to a lack of traction in the business model at the beginning of the year, the Company has embarked upon a dramatic reduction in its global operating presence.

"After giving effect to the cost of discontinuing the majority of its global operations, the Company has reduced its ongoing monthly burn rate in excess of 90% from its peak in 2000. As of the date of this letter, beenz.com has reduced its headcount from in excess of 265 at its peak during 2000, to just 30 employees as of April 2001.

"Transition teams remain in place in the London and New York offices while other companies have been closed. Similarly, the joint ventures with strategic partners in Japan, China, Korea and Italy have either ceased operations or are in the process of closing.

"Management is continuing in its efforts to find value in the business, in the technology, and in the intellectual property of the Company. The Company will continue to operate the beenz network while Management and the Board of Directors explore every avenue through which we might return some value to the shareholders."

The advice to anyone who might be still holding a sizeable amount of Beenz is to redeem then while you still can. ®

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