Thursday, September 27, 2007

Foxtons May file Bankruptcy

Foxtons may file for bankruptcy
11:04 AM EDT, September 27, 2007
Foxtons, the one-time 800-pound gorilla of the 2 percent marketplace in the New York metropolitan area, said it may file for bankruptcy and close its business, explaining it "can't stand in the way of a hurricane" that has come about as a result of the decline in the home mortgage industry.The New Jersey-based company, which once rocked the real-estate industry by selling homes for as little as 2 percent commission -- compared to commissions of up to 6 percent at other brokers -- said in an announcement that it is "releasing" 350 of its 380 employees "and may be filing for bankruptcy protection in order to close the business in an orderly fashion."No one answered the phone at the company's headquarters Thursday morning
In a statement, John D. Blomquist, Foxton's senior vice president and general counsel, said the company had been "well run, very efficient" and had "a great team that has pioneered a new model in the real estate business -- a model which has proven itself and, we believe, will have lasting influence on our sector."But, he added, "The plain fact is that we have been battling against a real estate market that recently has turned into a sharp decline, and the company no longer has the liquidity to operate as a going concern.""We understand the impact of the action we are taking, but there comes a point where you can't stand in the way of a hurricane, and it is a property hurricane we are facing."The company's announcement said that it has some 4,400 current listings and that it plans to "preserve the value of these listings to minimize customer disruption and to dedicate the anticipated revenues to pay creditors."Foxtons created a huge advertising splash, spending close to $12 million a year on television, radio and billboard ads. It even used buses, bus shelters and subway platform ads to attract customers.
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