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Excite filing details doubt about staying afloat

Mon, 08/20/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Talk about a rock and a hard place. ExciteAtHome's recent convertible stock offering drew a solid $100 million, but the terms require it to keep its common stock trading. But the broadband services provider faces delisting from NASDAQ, it says in an amendment to its annual report.

The company, which announced last month it would need to raise funds by the end of the year or have a significant adverse impact, says in the filing its condition raises "substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

Key to its problems is a "significant ongoing" capital outlay to expand its broadband network, offset by a weak demand for online advertising that led to decreasing revenue and negative cash flow for its media operations, it says.

The company had raised $185 million from the convertible notes, and from a revised backbone agreement with AT&T that landed Excite another $85 million. But its cash and other liquid assets may be insufficient to fund operations through the end of the year.

Although shareholders approved a reverse stock split, which would raise its prices above $3 a share, the move is pending board approval and Excite says it is not sure it could sustain the increase.

If Excite is delisted, terms for the convertible notes "provide for their acceleration of repayment in cash at that time," Excite auditors Ernst & Young LLP say in the filing. "These conditions raise substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

To save cash, Excite notes it has started cutting costs, including eliminating 200 jobs, not including 90 at its MatchLogic subsidiary. It may see more restructuring this year, and the company says it still plans to sell its media operations.

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