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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Scoot erects 'for sale' sign
Detail from Scoot UK website
Stricken UK online directory is searching for a buyer or partner to help it continue trading.

Revealing a massive increase in pre-tax losses, the company said it had enough cash to carry on trading until at least the beginning of October.

The sale of its main asset, the Loot classified ads newspaper group, should be enough to keep Scoot afloat until May next year, Thursday's profits briefing said.

But Scoot stressed the need find a partner or buyer to ensure the long-term viability of the remaining online directory business.

Share collapse

Scoot unveiled pre-tax losses of 171.6m, compared to a loss of 15.6m in the same period last year.

Shares in the company were trading at a new low of 1p after the announcement, valuing the firm at about 7.2m.

At the height of the boom, Scoot was worth 2.4bn.

'Difficult and uncertain'

Scoot bought Loot last year for 180m.

Last month, it agreed to sell the classified newspaper business to the Daily Mail and General Trust for 45m, subject to shareholder approval.

Scoot said trading had been "difficult and uncertain" since late June, but it had conquered many of its technical difficulties.

Scoot's largest shareholder is Vivendi, which holds about a quarter of its shares.

Vivendi said in June it was making a full provision for its Scoot stake, effectively writing off its 280 million euro (172m) investment.

Terry Martin, who had been chief commercial officer of Scoot UK, has been appointed managing director of Scoot UK.

See also:

17 Aug 01 | Business
Scoot sells Loot for 45m
27 Jul 01 | Business
Scoot says 'one month left'
05 Jul 01 | Business
Scoot retreats to core markets
27 Jun 01 | Business
Scoot shares plunge as chief quits
06 Jun 01 | Business
Scoot dives as Vivendi ends talks
30 Apr 01 | Business
Vivendi discusses Scoot takeover
31 Aug 00 | Business
Scoot shrugs off losses
12 Jun 00 | Business
Scoot gets Loot
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