Life's not so easy at easyEverything

Stelios steps in to bail sinking ship...

Stelios steps in to bail sinking ship...

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou will stump up £20m of his own money to save his beloved easyEverything internet café business. The founder of the low budget airline easyJet will take a 95 per cent controlling stake as well as the helm of the 400 strong company after its chief executive Maurice Kelly stormed out on Tuesday, along with another senior member of the IT department. EasyEverything is in desperate need of Stelios' own cash following the decision by investors HP and Apax to back out of turning £20m worth of bonds into shares and no further interest shown in the business by other lenders. Stelios is expected to force through a refinancing decision at a shareholder meeting next Thursday, which will cut the value of shares held by staff from one pound to one penny. According to the Guardian newspaper, Stelios told staff: "I've lost money. You are going to lose it too. That's business. That's capitalism." James Rothnie, a spokesman and shareholder at easyEverything, couldn't rule out staff cuts given the economic climate and the current financial shape of the business. "Essentially Stelios has taken over, as the company is having to refinance and cut costs like a lot of dot-com's at the moment. This is likely to continue at easyEverything in whatever form. The usual ones spring to mind," he said. Rothnie also confirmed easyEverything will change to easyInternetCafe upon the completion of a re-branding process and that online bank easyMoney.com is up and running. The firm is expected to float before the end of 2003.