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SmartWorld suspends trading as administrator moves in

SmartWorld suspends trading as administrator moves in

ASX-listed home automation company SmartWorld has sunk into voluntary administration after a capital raising drive failed to save the company.

"Frankly, it has run out of money," said administrator Louis Nilant, of Clout & Associates.

Despite international partnerships with networking giant Avaya and Greek telco OTE, the company was unable to stem its cash-burn rate and suspended trading on the ASX on September 5. SmartWorld's board appointed Clout & Associates as administrator on Wednesday.

Nilant said Clout & Associates has had preliminary negotiations with "interested parties" but was unable to confirm that this would see the company sold off.

He described the company's future as "uncertain at this stage" with the potential sale of assets and a management restructure the first priorities to preserve the company.

SmartWorld develops a range of technologies designed to consolidate high-speed Internet, phone, lights, home entertainment systems, irrigation systems and home alarms across a single platform. The platform, referred to as a home gateway, can be used to manage all connected electrical devices in the home.

In January of this year, the company projected revenues of $125 million by June 30, 2002, largely on the back of its Avaya partnership.

The partnership involved SmartWorld subsidiary and marketing division SmartAmerica promoting residential structured wiring systems with Avaya. As part of the agreement, Avaya had the right to acquire a 10 per cent equity stake in SmartAmerica for $US10 million at any time within six months, an option it declined.

Nilant said the future of SmartWorld's existing partnerships is yet to be decided. He also pointed out that the "horrific incidents" of the past week may have some bearing on the company's share performance.

Paul Benetti, SmartWorld's group managing director, was unavailable for comment.


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