Struggling UK online personal finance operation Interactive Investor International has retained Credit Suisse First Boston to advise on a possible sale of the company or its businesses. Negotiations with potential buyers are ongoing says the firm.
The company has spent the past four months working on a strategic and operational review of its business in response to detiorating conditions in the online retail investment market. This has included a reduction in full-time staff from 128 to 95 and cut-backs in spending on marketing, technology and administration.
The cost-cutting exercise has gone hand-in-hand with an effort to develop more transactional products in a bid to enhance the long-term profitability of its customers. As at 28 February 2001, the company had approximately 1.2 million registered accounts and 310,000 portfolio users of its service.
In a statement, Interactive Investor says that any new transactional capability will best be progressed by way of a "strategic partnership" with a third party. CSFB has been advising the company on a sale to a third party, but no deals have yet been agreed. Discussions are ongoing says the company.