From the heady heights of a market cap of A$700 million, Chris Jones' sort-of-New Zealand-based company Telemedia has slouched into the history books. 150 employees in New Zealand, Australia and the US are soon to find out whether they're still employed or will get redundancy pay outs and creditors will be wondering whether they'll get their $13 million in outstanding debt.
The blame, it seems, lies in Telemedia's ability to get cash out of its customers. The company makes and sells software for telecommunications systems - it's big New Zealand client was The Warehouse with its Gold Mobile platform. Last year almost 90% of the company's revenue for the second half of the year was still outstanding in December. If you aren't getting paid, you can't pay your own bills and that sort of situation can only go on for so long. Westpac called time and appointed a receiver, Ferrier Hodgson. The company is still trading and a buyer is being sought and the receivers will be chasing up all those bills that are outstanding, so creditors and staff could still see their money.
It's been a heady rollercoaster of a ride for Jones, who moved the company head office to Sydney in 1999 to seek out new investment. That he found, and at the height of Telemedia's success the company shares were trading at A$10 each. Trading ceased in May after several customers refused to pay up. In April the company appointed two new directors to the board and announced plans to move head office again, this time to the US to better tackle that market.
Meanwhile The Warehouse says it's not troubled by the collapse - it owns the platform for its Gold Mobile customers outright and there are clauses built in to the agreement with Telemedia to provide for such an event.
Telemedia calls in receivers - IDGNet
Telemedia joins the tech-wreck - NZHerald
Napster - users down by 90% but signs big deal
It's dead in the water but now they've killed it off the record companies realise Napster is a handy brand name to have. So three of them have signed a licensing arrangement to use Napster as a tool for downloading music. Users will connect to secure servers and pay per song to download the music.
According to Wired, Warner Music, BMG, and EMI have signed a deal that sees the three labels, along with RealNetworks, working on a joint venture called MusicNet. Napster's deal is with MusicNet and the company sees it as a way forward - something it desperately needs considering 90% of its users have stopped using the service following the court ruling that Napster breached copyright.
Napster inks deal with major labels - IDGNet
Napster Service: 2Legit 2Quit - Wired
Advantage Sells Glazier
I don't know - first they buy Glazier, then they restructure to incorporate Glazier, then they fire the CEO and appoint a new guy, then they de-restructure and now they're selling Glazier off again. Honestly, anyone would think Advantage Group was desperately trying to give money away. My preference would be to buy all the staff Porsches but hey, it works both ways.
Advantage bought Glazier for a reported $7 million in 1999 and incorporated it into an e-services arm that promptly lost $1.6 million for the half year to December 2000. Advantage shares were at a robust 76 cents yesterday. The new company will be called Intergen and will be owned and managed by former Glazier senior management led by Tony Stewart, one of the original founders of Glazier. He plans to sell around half of his shares in the new company to managers and employees while retaining controlling interest himself.
Advantage sheds web unit - NZHerald
And is it just me or does Stuff always make sure that Auckland's weather is worse than Wellington's on its front page? Hmmm...