Following two postponements of its initial public offering on Frankfurt’s Neurmarkt, troubled e-tailer LetsBuy came up trumps with investors on its delayed debut last Friday. In the early hours of trading, its shares gained 84% in value, providing a much-needed boost in confidence for the firm’s directors and staff.

Having last week halved to €3.50 each the asking price for its shares [WAMN, 13-Jul-00], Letsbuyit whetted the market's appetite, with strong interest from big institutional investors driving the surge in share price from €3.50 to a peak of €6.45. Said one Hamburg analyst: “The amount of speculators buying the stock is high - it's a very innovative firm and was very cheaply priced."

Despite the new-found euphoria surrounding the venture, analysts predict that Letsbuyit will remain deeply in the red until 2003. Operating losses are expected to exceed €200 million before it turns the corner.

The British-owned company is registered in Sweden and headquartered in Amsterdam. It operates in fourteen countries and twelve languages across western Europe.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)