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01.01.70 | Philip Jones
Four buyers have expressed an interest in taking over the e-commerce side of Retail8, which includes the BookRabbit and Samedaybooks websites. The revelation follows a review by parent company ArgentVive, which found that the business required "working capital properly to fund its marketing and development activities". Earlier this month majority shareholder Charles Denton said that he did not intend to make an offer to buy the remaining shares, though said he was still committed to the group.
Kevin Fleming, finance director of ArgentVive, told The Bookseller: "We have been approached by several parties during the past few weeks. I wouldn't necessarily classify the business as being up for sale but if we were to receive offers for the business we would consider it."
Fleming said that Bookrabbit, a shopping website with social networking capabilities that launched in March, had "enormous potential" but required additional funding to support and develop it further. "At this point there is not a huge amount of capital so we need to be selective about how we spend it," he said. "BookRabbit is, to a degree, an unproven revenue model so it's something we need to keep a close eye on and look at any offers that come in."
The announcement follows a strategic operational review of ArgentVive, where it has looked at the performance of its various businesses. Among its subsidiaries are software company Solcara and wholesaler Waterside Book Services, which is performing "in line with expectations" according to ArgentVive. The company also operates bookshops in Chertsey and Worthing.
Retail8 m.d. Kieron Smith was unavailable for comment.