SA’S CYBERHOST GHOST TO WOO INVESTORS

Digital Content

The ghost of Cyberhost seems set to rise from the grave. The once-defunct Internet service provider (ISP) today applied for the lifting of the suspension of its JSE shares and claims to be ready to trade again.

However, Cybersmart, the current owner of Cyberhost’s domain name and which bought part of its client base and servers in February 2002, is not so sure it can make the comeback it wants to.

The current resurrection of Cyberhost began last weeek, when its results were published on the JSE’s Stock Exchange News Service. The results state it has reached a compromise with its largest creditor to whom it owed about R2.6 million. The list of creditors included Telkom and Internet Solutions.

It was this debt that broke Cyberhost’s back more than two years ago after it became entangled in a number of failed projects that included pay-per-use Internet kiosks and a buying spree of a number of small ISPs.

Cyberhost’s shares were suspended after the company became insolvent and its customer database and other assets were seized via a court order. They were eventually sold to Cybersmart for a consideration of about R400 000 in a deal brokered by a former Cyberhost director.

The results statement published on Tuesday covers three years from December 2001 to December 2003. During this period the company was not trading, but it states that due to the compromise agreement with the creditors, it has managed to "earn" R2.6 million in terms of Section 311 of the Companies Act.

Cyberhost CEO Mark Weetman says the company plans to allow another software company to reverse list. "The one thing we have is an assessed tax loss that we don’t want to lose as it is very useful."

Meanwhile, Cybersmart’s owners are not amused. "I just hope people don’t confuse us with Cyberhost. We have built up a good business over the past three years and we don’t want that compromised. I am hoping that Cyberhost will consider its future actions very carefully," says Cybersmart senior partner Laurie Fialkov.

IT Web