BuildOnline revisited

In the absence of any updates regarding Sword Group and its recently-acquired construction collaboration technology business still branded as CTSpace (formerly known as BuildOnline and Citadon, formerly known as Cephren (formerly known as BlueLineOnline and E-bricks) and Bidcom, which also incorporated Cubus – and that’s just the short version!) or even a new website (see post), I have been looking back at the final months of BuildOnline (Why not look at CTSpace? Well, there is no company called CTSpace: CTSpace’s website terms and conditions says “CTSpace, Citadon and BuildOnline are the trading names of BuildOnline (UK) Limited, BuildOnline (Germany) GmbH and BuildOnline (France) Sarl”).

One of the last times I wrote about BuildOnline (May 2007), I relied on an Irish Sunday Business Post report about losses sustained by shareholders in the one-time ultimate parent company, Dublin-based BuildOnline (Holdings) Ltd, in the year ending 31 March 2005. This company then had eight subsidiaries: operations in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the US, India and Austria. According to accounts lodged with the Irish Companies Registration Office (CRO), that year BuildOnline (Holdings) Ltd turned over almost €6.2 million [£4.2m] and made a pre-tax loss of €1.67million [£1.1m].

However, just over four months later, on 4 August 2005, the shares in all BuildOnline (Holdings) Ltd’s subsidiaries were transferred to a new UK-based company, BuildOnline Global Ltd, incorporated less than four weeks earlier on 8 July 2005, in return for its own ordinary shares. No further financial reports were returned to the CRO by BuildOnline (Holdings) Ltd and that company was eventually dissolved on 4 May 2007.

Meanwhile, the year up to 31 March 2006 was (as previously posted) also not a good one for the group’s UK business, BuildOnline (UK) Ltd. It made a pre-tax loss of £962k on a slightly reduced turnover of just under £2.8m. The company’s annual report and accounts also describe the whole BuildOnline group’s financial performance, showing that total group turnover was €6.695m [£4.7m], up 8% on the 2005 figure (in other words, the non-UK arms of BO had a combined turnover in the year to March 2006 of around £1.9m).


No information was given in its report regarding group profits/losses, but the report for the new holding company BuildOnline Global Ltd for the year ending 30 March 2006 shows losses totalling more than £2.5m across most of BuildOnline’s operations:



Capital and reserves


BuildOnline (UK) Ltd



England (France) SARL




BuildOnline (Germany) GmbH




BuildOnline (Ireland) Ltd




BuildOnline (Italy) S.r.l.



Infotechno Baudatenbank GmbH*




BuildOnline Inc




BuildOnline Software Private Ltd






(* “Infotechno Baudatenbank GmbH is 70% owned by BuildOnline (Germany) GmbH, with the remaining 30% held by shareholders external to the group.”)

No more up-to-date financial reports are available from Companies House. Annual reports and accounts for BuildOnline (UK) Ltd and BuildOnline Global Ltd for the year to 31 March 2007 are now overdue. That financial year was, of course, the one in which Mark Suster began to exit the group (see my November 2006 post BuildOnline and Koral), and in which the business merged with Citadon (see BuildOnline + Citadon = CTSpace). However, Howard Koenig’s succession to Mark Suster as sole director of the UK business (and of BuildOnline (Ireland) Ltd) was not finalised until 30 April/1 May 2007.

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