Express newspaper abandons Web sites

Newspaper's Internet ventures go into liquidation

The Daily Express newspaper's Web sites will go into liquidation Tuesday having been shut down as part of cost-cutting measures to combat failing circulation figures.

The sites were sold for the nominal sum of £1 several weeks ago to SP Investments, which had hoped to find a buyer for the sites. No buyer has come forward and HLB Kidsons is expected to be appointed as liquidator.

A message was posted to the Express Web site in December explaining the situation to readers. "We regret to announce that, the Web site of the Daily Express, has been suspended until further notice for commercial reasons," says the statement.

Express Newspapers, which publishes the Express, Sunday Express and Star, was bought by Richard Desmond, publisher of lifestyle magazine OK!, for £125m in November. The closure of the Express Web sites, which reportedly cost £7m to £8m a year to run, is part of a wider cost cutting scheme introduced by Desmond.

Web site staff will have to wait to see if liquidation proceedings allow them any redundancy. One employee said workers are upset by the situation and will be holding a meeting Tuesday to discuss their options.

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