Three more Australian high-tech flyers close down

Australia's dot-com and telecommunications sector endured a grisly week with the failures of three high-profile companies towards the end of last week -- software company Open Telecommunications Ltd., Web designer Spike Australia Pty. Ltd., and share trader eStar Online Trading Ltd.

Open Telecommunications went into voluntary administration Friday when an attempt to sell a key part of its business failed.

"As a result, the directors have resolved that in their opinion the company is insolvent or likely to become insolvent within the foreseeable future," the company said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The loss-making company once boasted a market valuation of A$2 billion (US$1.12 billion), but is regarded as almost worthless now, with its shares having dived to A$0.05 each when trading was suspended in April. The company's 200 staff have been stood down until a creditors' meeting on Friday.

Also on Friday, Spike closed its doors and made most of its 75 staff redundant after failing to get additional funding from investors. The company went into voluntary administration on July 4, but was hoping for A$5.8 million emergency funding from a single investor. That deal has now fallen through, according to the administrators.

The company is owed A$27 million by overseas subsidiaries in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The voluntary administrators said the company is probably insolvent and return to creditors would be nominal. Local media estimated the company was valued at A$300 million at its peak.

EStar decided to close down because of an inability to sustain losses running at over A$85,000 per month, the company said in a statement Friday.

"The company's directors and management cannot see any dramatic improvement to the level of losses in the next 12 months due to high fixed operating costs and expected increase in fees from service providers," eStar Chief executive Albert Wong said in a statement. "Management will be working closely over the next few weeks with all existing eStar clients and suppliers to ensure that there is an orderly wind down of its current operations."

The weak industry environment has been steadily thinning the ranks of Australia's dot-com and telecommunications sector -- second-tier carrier One.Tel failed spectacularly last year, and Dingo Blue Pty. Ltd. followed in March this year.

Still waiting to know its future direction is the country's second-largest ISP (Internet service provider) OzEmail Pty. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of embattled WorldCom Inc.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Legard

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?