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Online auctioneer QXL looks set to be sold to its managers for £12m.

The offer values the firm at £11.9m, or 700p per share. QXL shares jumped to 670p on the news. Jim Rose and Tom Power - QXL's independent directors - both recomend the offer.

The company was launched by ex-journo Tim Jackson in 1997, before eBay landed in the UK. Unlike eBay, it has remained small, and under-capitalised, and loss-making.

It floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1999 for £220m and at the height of the dotcom bubble was valued by some enthusiasts at £2.5bn. It bought several European rivals including Ricardo.de in May 2000.

Jim Rose, non-executive deputy chairman and former CEO of QXL, said: "As Independent Directors, we believe that the Offer provides certainty and value to QXL’s shareholders, at a price per QXL share that is unlikely to be achieved in the market in the near future."

The auction house shares will be sold to Tiger Acquisition Corporation Ltd which was set up by Great Hill Funds and the existing management to make the offer.

The full RNS statement is here. ®

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