31 May 2000

Former London ad agency account executive Dan Wagner, now chief executive of e-commerce software specialist Bright Station [née Dialog Corporation], has bought the technology assets of failed e-tailer Boo.com from liquidator KPMG for a mere £250,000. Boo’s software, which enables surfers to view merchandise in 3-D animation reportedly cost ‘millions’ to develop.

According to KPMG, buyers for the Boo brand and its website have also been found and will be announced shortly.

Meantime, Bright Station aims to rent Boo’s technology solutions to consumer e-tailers via its e-commerce offshoot Sparza. According to Mr Wagner, Boo’s multi-million investment in technology "may have been a slight amount of overkill for Boo; it is a perfect platform for us”. Mr Wagner, better able than most to recognise ‘overkill’ when he sees it, shed no tears for Boo investors. "[They] went in with their eyes and their cheque books open," he said.

Mr Wagner also went in with his eyes and chequebook open two years back when he acquired US rival Knight Ridder Information and renamed it Dialog. Just three months ago, unable to meet the concomitant debt payments, he sold Dialog at a massive loss.

Bright Station is currently in bargain basement mode, having yesterday snapped-up one third of another failed internet business, Net Imperative [WAMN, 30-May-00].

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK) [30-May-00]