LibertyOne Calls in Administrator

Ailing dot-com LibertyOne was de-listed from the ASX yesterday after Hong Kong investor group iReality Capital withdrew a $6 million bailout offer. The Internet company has gone into voluntary administration with Ernst and Young.

LibertyOne executives called an emergency meeting late Wednesday afternoon in which they decided to halt share trading on the ASX after the board of directors was told iReality had withdrawn a recapitalisation proposal.iReality withdrew a cash rescue plan brokered in October under which iReality paid LibertyOne $2 million of a $6 million cash contribution. The deal would also inject a further $28 million into the cash-strapped LibertyOne through stock options, media reports said.

LibertyOne chairman Nick Whitlam assured shareholders at the time of the deal that the arrangement would sustain the company. Shareholders had not approved the plan.

LibertyOne chief executive Marcelle Anderson provided scant details on her future within and potentially outside the company, which has been marred by financial problems since listing on the ASX in 1998 and raising $40 million in capital. She told The Australian she would remain at the helm as long as she was "useful" to the company, and was in discussion with administrator Ernst and Young as to the future of LibertyOne.

Anderson remained tight-lipped over the prospect of a fire-sale of LibertyOne's current assets including web integration arm Zivo (worth $15 million in the next financial year), a 50 per cent stake in Satellite Music Australia, and 49 per cent ownership of the Monet Asia Pacific JV with US company Von Neuman.

LibertyOne's share price peaked at $2.56 yesterday but closed at 6 cents.

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