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Breathe.com goes into administration with losses of £50m

Breathe.com, the UK’s fourth-largest ISP, collapsed into administration on Friday with losses of £50m.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) - Breathe.com, the UK’s fourth-largest ISP, collapsed into administration on Friday with losses of £50m.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was appointed as the company’s administrator, is now looking to sell Breathe as a going concern. It is understood that there are no immediate plans to make any redundancies in the 140-strong workforce.

According to newspaper reports, telecoms services provider Opal Telecom is interested in Breathe’s assets, and is due to meet with PwC this morning.

One of Opal’s backers is Martin Dawes, an entrepreneur who also held a majority stake in Breathe. There is understood to be no operational link between Breathe and Opal.

Breathe attracted about 500,000 customers, 50,000 of whom could be out of pocket after paying a £50 flat fee for unmetered internet access. The company announced earlier this month that it was ending the unmetered service because it was unviable.

Breathe’s demise is a significant blow to the battered dotcom sector -– last month saw the demise of the UK arm of TheStreet, a financial website backed by Breathe’s other investors, Chase Capital and 3i.

However, some brighter news came today as Freeserve, the UK’s largest ISP, announced that it had halved its operating losses in the three months ending November 11 2000.

Losses before tax and interest were £9.5m, compared with £18.8m in the previous quarter, and its weekly advertising and e-commerce revenue grew by 51%.

www.breathe.com

www.freeserve.com



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