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The news comes in the wake of improvements in the performance of online sales at US auction houses involved with their live bidding process, while the UK business has not progressed as hoped. The company, who specialise in providing online catalogue services, absentee bidding and live auctions online, are keen to stress that they will continue to provide a service for the ten UK auction houses they have signed up and are even promising them that this will be enhanced in the new year.

The core of 25-30 staff at the London offices will leave the company after completing the hand-over process by Christmas, with the Canadian company Rapid Fusion, a subsidiary of ICollector’s new owners, Ableauctions, taking over control from January.

Ableauctions, who operate online auction and liquidation businesses in North America, acquired ICollector in August, valuing the firm then at £9.8m. At the time they set ICollector tough twin targets for July 2002, based on the number of sales to be held in that month and ICollector’s revenue share from those sales. It is not clear how far they have progressed in their strategy to reach those targets.

Details of the new arrangements will be available on ICollector’s Website when it is updated in the next few weeks.