As Europe Online seeks backer, Burda beefs up Web content

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Europe Online is in talks with half a dozen potential investors--including two U.S. companies--about buying a stake in the troubled company, said Luxembourg-based spokesman Alexander Fink. He says that Europe Online is certain that it will sign up another investor within eight weeks.

Earlier this week the multilingual online service's biggest shareholder and main financial backer, German publisher Burda, announced it is withdrawing funding from the venture.

Burda's stake in Europe Online is 26%. It holds an additional 7% in a trust. Other investors include Pearson, owner of the Financial Times London, and AT&T.

On July 9 a Luxembourg Commercial Court approved Europe Online's application to enter court administration to protect itself from creditors and bankruptcy proceedings while it finds a new investor.

Burda will now concentrate on EOL, the German subsidiary of Europe Online, which is 100% owned by Burda. On July 1 Burda opened an editorial department under the name BurdaCom to prepare content for Burda's 11 online magazines.

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