Excite@Home raises $35m in greetings goodbye

Not a bad return for $750m investment

Troubled dotcom Excite@Home has flogged its online greetings card business bluemountain.com to the American Greetings Corporation for $35 million in cash.

The deal will save ExciteAtHome a fair wedge in overheads, and it will also deliver much-needed liquidity at a time when hard cash is in short supply.

Excite@Home said the sale "maps to our action plan to focus on broadband and to bolster our cash position and lower operating costs."

For the American Greetings Corporation, the deal has added yet another dotcom operation to its ever-growing portfolio - it has already snapped up Egreetings.com and BeatGreets.com.

However, to put Excite@Home's sale into perspective, you need only look back at the recent past to see the scale of its problem. In October 1999 Excite@Home announced its intention to buy Bluemountain.com for a whopping $780 million in cash and stock.

In those far-off crazy days Excite@Home blew £350 million in cash on the operation. Today, it's only managed to claw back a tenth of that investment.

And there was even a caveat that if BlueMountain.com hit certain performance-related targets Excite@Home would fork out an additional $270 million in shares. Madness.

Last week, CFO Mark McEachen resigned from the company to pursue other interests.

And last month the company warned it didn't have enough cash to last the end of the year. ®

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