Embattled Eisa at the crossroads

The future of troubled ISP Eisa and its shareholders continues to hang in the balance yesterday, with the company admitting it is yet to come to a decision on its strategic direction.

Share trading in the company remains suspended following a halt issued last Friday.

Eisa's strategic road map, a maze of business partnerships to help fund the acquisition of OzEmail Internet, was torn to pieces last week after UUNet terminated the $300 million-$350 million takeover deal.

Its agreements with Fairfax's interactive division f2, Hastings Funds Management, ANZ and the Disney Go Network, all conditional on the successful purchase of OzEmail, were withdrawn, leaving the ISP and its share price battered.

Eisa, which would have become Australia's number two ISP had it successfully acquired OzEmail, is now at the crossroads.

Industry speculation suggests that two choices -- either be acquired or shut up shop -- exist for the ISP.

According to the company, since the termination of the agreement with UUNet, "Eisa has focused on maintaining its solid ISP business, considering its strategic options and asserting Eisa's position in relation to the OzEmail Internet acquisition agreement".

In an announcement to the ASX, the company said it has "not yet settled" on a strategic direction. The share trade suspension will remain in place indefinitely.

Meanwhile, shareholders will be expecting answers and explanations at the company's annual general meeting on Friday. The meeting was intended to consider matters such as business related to the OzEmail acquisition and the re-election of two directors, John Pascoe and Michael Ball, who have since resigned.

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