LetsBuyIt.com buys it

Innovative e-commerce site announces bankruptcy

Cooperative shopping site LetsBuyIt.com gave up its battle for solvency Wednesday, announcing it will file for bankruptcy in a Dutch court Friday.

The company, which has been working with an administrator to sort out its £50m of debts, had been in talks with European e-commerce companies Dealpartners and CoShopper to form a partnership or sell off assets. Those deals failed to come through in time, however. LetsBuyIt's shares were suspended Wednesday at a value of 0.46 euros, far below their July peak of 6.45 euros.

LetsBuyIt was considered one of the more innovative Internet startups -- its business model allowed users to aggregate their buying power to bring prices down. But the site, like many others, relied heavily on continued investment from venture capitalists.

When these funds dried up last summer LetsBuyIt turned to the public markets, but was only able to float at a price of 3.5 euros after putting off its IPO twice. In December it finally announced it needed to raise £50m to survive and sought protection from creditors.

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