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The Joneses gone by lunchtime

Sunday, February 17th 2008, 9:46PM

by Philip Macalister

Just after nine o’clock on Monday fixed-price real estate agency The Joneses announced it wasn’t proceeding with its sharemarket list. After lunch it was gone. In voluntary liquidation.


Talk about pulling the plug and going down the gurgler.


The Joneses listing was curious in that earlier director Chris Taylor had said the listing wasn’t about raising capital, rather it was about profile and transparency.


He said last month: "We are not the same as your typical IPO [Initial Public Offering]. This is not an IPO. We are not aiming at raising capital from the public."


Guess in the end though that wasn’t quite the case. Seems as though the company needed the capital and it wasn’t forthcoming.


It’s easy to blame the volatility in the capital markets, but maybe the truth is more that investors didn’t buy the concept or the numbers.


The company made big noises about revolutionising the real estate industry and getting a piece of the $1.3 billion market.


However, at the end of the day their listing was probably ill-timed. Real estate is all about volume and pushing through deals.


In the current market the number of deals is declining quickly, and the big players are out to capture as much of the business as they can and protect their patches.


With that background it is difficult for a new, low cost, under-capitalised model to compete.


The Joneses demise is a loss for vendors and purchasers. They brought some competition to the real estate market, and helped reduce costs. We can all argue that is a good thing.

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Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
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Finance Direct - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
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