Excite UK has 30 days to avoid closure

Internet portal seeks a buyer after Excite@Home and BTopenworld decide to sell up

Internet portal Excite UK is likely to close at the end of this year unless it can find a buyer, following the slump in online advertising spending.

Excite UK is jointly owned by BTopenworld and Excite@home, which recently filed for bankruptcy. These two shareholders have now decided to sell their stakes. Excite UK has already warned its employees that the company will probably close at the end of December unless a buyer is found within the next 30 days.

Company executives blame the downturn in the technology and dot-com sector for the move. "As one of the UK's early media portals, Excite UK has built an impressive, personalised portal service supported by a dedicated team of employees. It is unfortunate that the global downturn in media advertising has negatively affected Excite UK's financial performance," said Rebecca Miskin, managing director of Excite UK, in a statement.

Excite UK claims to have more than 1.3 million unique users per month. According to the company -- which insists it still has an unspecified amount of cash in the bank -- BTopenworld is keen to sell its stake so it can concentrate on offering Internet services under a single brand, while Excite@Home is focusing on "broadband products and services as it goes through Chapter 11 proceedings".

Excite@Home filed for bankruptcy last month

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