UPDATE: Clock ticks for FlyingPig

Estar Online has followed through on its threat to close the hyped online retailer FlyingPig.

Estar Online has followed through on its threat to close the hyped online retailer FlyingPig.

At midday today the site disappeared. The www.flyingpig.co.nz address takes visitors to a page saying: no website configured at this address.

EStar Online managing director, Matthew Darby said earlier today that if FlyingPig owner Wilson Neill had not paid by one minute past midday, then the site would come down, and “stays down until they pay or we take over. That’s just the way it is.”

Darby and Wilson Neill director Phil Vosper were not immediately available for comment soon after midday. However earlier in the day Vosper said: “We’re sorting it out at the moment and we should be in a position to comment later on today.”

Wilson Neill earlier rejected a last-minute offer from eStar Online to save its online retailer FlyingPig.

“They owe us $121,000 for work done and a further $350,000 as part of the Transram deal,” says Darby, who claims the money has been outstanding for several months.

“We’ve done all we can to try to clear this up. They’ve just been stringing us along.”

Darby claims Wilson Neill has told him FlyingPig couldn’t pay its debts and offered shares in the company in exchange for work done. EStar Online would then be able to sell the shares to Transram (a joint venture which is reported to be between a Panama-based communications company and a Kiwi charitable trust), but although that deal has proceeded, Darby says he has yet to see the money.

The latest proposal would see eStar Online take FlyingPig from Wilson Neill which would “pay only $50,000 in outstanding debt” but Wilson Neill rejected the offer.

“It wasn’t a very pleasant conversation. They were quite abusive.”

On Friday eStar Online, which hosts FlyingPig, took the site offline but returned it to service over the weekend. IDGNet contacted FlyingPig managing director Tim Connell on Friday about the incident.

“It’s a technical problem - there’s no business problem there,” Connell said at the time, although he wouldn’t elaborate on what sort of technical problem was preventing the site from being visible. He is now directing comment to Vosper.

Wilson Neill owns IT Media, an Auckland-based company which in turns owns FlyingPig.

This isn’t the first time eStar Online and Wilson Neill have locked horns over FlyingPig.

“If it turns out that the company has been trading while insolvent we will take legal action to recover our costs. We are very determined to recover our costs.”

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