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Anthrax and blood tests come to InterX rescue (maybe)

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An American anthrax and blood testing firm is the key to the survival of cash-strapped InterX, the British content management software company.

Exemplar, a US screening firm is capitalised at $71m and listed on NASDAQ. It in turn is 56 per cent owned by Diligenti, a US life sciences online publishing firm, which in turn is 34 per cent owned by InterX.

Diligenti owes InterX £16.2m which it can't pay. (Story: Woe is InterX trading) It's called in insolvency advisers to restructure, but InterX's ability to claw back some or all of the money is contingent on the success of this.

The key for InterX is in unlock the value of Diligenti's holding in Exemplar. Unfortunately, Exemplar shares are very illiquid - less than $4m worth trade on the open market. InterX is fairly confident that it can realise the value. But until the money is sitting in its bank account, this sum should be discounted in any consideration of the company.

The company notes that its share of losses recorded by "associates" (note the 'plural' was £ 5.2m in Q2. We guess that Diligenti counts as one of these. Anyone else?

The details concerning InterX's proxy relationship with Exemplar were contained into today's quarterlies in which the company declared a whopping loss of £167m for the six months to December 30, the bulk of it deriving from impairment and amortisation of goodwill, and restructuring charges. At the operating loss level in Q2, the company lost £35m on sales of £500k.

As of December 30, it had £6.2m in the bank, it says that it has enough money, at current burn rates, to last it until the end of August. InterX also has a £5.4m rent deposit tied up with its Brentford, West London offices. It is "actively marketing" the HQ, to get this back onto its books. If it succeeds, it can last somewhat longer.

The content management software provider is to cut staff significantly - currently it employs approx. 100. And it is seeking to protect its investment in Net2020 by licensing the technology to outsiders (as opposed to, we infer, going for an all-out sale).

"In light of orders and our current cash position, the current level of investment in building a brand and sales channel in the current market conditions cannot be justified," CEO Simon Barker said in a statement today. The company thinks the restructure will cost it £1.5m.

InterX says it has seen an encouraging incresase in
"active interest in InterX Net2020 from prospective customers and industry analysts". But it has not been successful in converting this interest - from 20 companies into firm sales.

In Q2 ended December 30, it made only one sale to a new customer, while this quarter it has made no conversions so far. Given its current financial status, it will find it even harder to achieve. ®

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