Swallows Bitter Pill

Two weeks after Internet holding firm Sitestar withdrew its bid to acquire Inc., the online healthstore folded Tuesday.

The troubled company’s board has called for a special meeting of
shareholders, to be held on Nov. 30, 2000, to approve the plan to
liquidate the firm, which estimates assets available for
distribution to shareholders will be approximately $15.8 million, or $1 per

The firm’s remaining 100 employees would lose their jobs, adding to what industry analysts have said has been more than 22,000 dot-com layoffs in the past several months.

In a company statement,’s board of directors said boiling
down the company is the best option at this point. Bear Stearns & Co acted
as the outfit’s financial advisor.’s dissolution price is less than Sitestar’s September offer
of $1.15 per share, which would have valued the company at $18 million.
Sitestar abandoned trying to buy the online seller of vitamins and
supplements after it refused to negotiate. In August, Sitestar offered 75
cents a share, or about $11.4 million.

The cessation of operation is another blip on the bleak B2C landscape, which
analysts have decried for months as being a sector that would have
difficulty finding viability. had tired to keep afloat by
turning to B2B plays to rescue the business.

Though very successful for Inc., cutting costs and currying favor with investors, who have seen the’s stock uberdive 96 percent since its IPO
last December, was not enough to salvage the damaged ship.

The vitamin and mineral specialist laid off 25 positions, or roughly 20 percent of its work force, in September.

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