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Swiss high-tech firm, Miracle, folds

(Miracle Software)

The Swiss software company, Miracle, is to close, with the loss of 320 jobs. The announcement came after Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) refused to allocate second round financing to the firm.

Miracle's board of directors said that without the money from Credit Suisse, they had no other way of propping up the cash-strapped firm.

CSFB announced that it would not grant another SFr8 million ($4.4 million) out of a total loan of SFr23 million to the high-tech start-up.

Miracle let it be known last week that it was in dire financial straits. On October 19, the company recorded a loss of SFr36.1 million in the first half of 2000.

CSFB spokesman, Andreas Hildenbrand, said loans had been conditional on Miracle's performance, and added the requirements had not been fulfilled.

Miracle said that its entire workforce of 318 employees - 252 in Switzerland and 66 abroad - would lose their jobs.

Signs that the high-tech firm was not performing well began to emerge a few months ago. When half-year results were published in August, the board of directors said it was investigating strategic and financial options to safeguard the company's future.

The statement said that both the board and the management considered that "systematic restructuring" was necessary and also feasible without jeopardizing product development or other core activities.

Miracle, once an attractive bet for investors on the Swiss Stock Exchange New Market, experienced problems with its main software product, "miracle xrp". Some customers complained that it did not work to their satisfaction.

Miracle responded by refining its flagship product and promised to release a third product that would be delivered within the next few weeks.

swissinfo with agencies


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