First Tuesday may buy itself back from Yazam

Tech investment woes mean Yazam is looking for a buyer, at cut-rate prices

First Tuesday, the high-tech networking group, may be up for sale after all.

The London-based company was bought last year by venture-capital group Yazam. But Yazam has suffered its own financial difficulties as the sheen has worn off Internet investments, forcing it to look for ways to return funds to its backers. It has explored the possibility of merging with another company or winding down some of its operations, though chairman Shlomo Kalish denied he would shut down First Tuesday.

Now First Tuesday's leaders are looking to buy the group back from Yazam, though for a fraction of the estimated £33m Yazam originally paid. Adam Sherlock, who organises First Tuesday's north of England events, told the Financial Times the group had made an offer to Yazam and might be willing to pay several hundred thousand pounds.

Israel-based Yazam is believed to be under pressure to return funds to its investors, who include Merrill Lynch & Company, Texas Pacific Group, and Carlyle Internet Partners.

First Tuesday has helped find the initial funding for businesses such as Confetti, the online weddings planning service, Lastorders, and Clickmango, which has since gone into liquidation.

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