Web portal Excite UK, a joint venture between bankrupt US broadband-provider [email protected] and British Telecom (BT), is to close on December 21, Excite confirmed yesterday.

The company announced last month that it was looking for a new investor, but confirmed that none has been found.

The remaining 48 Excite UK staff will lose their jobs. Any monies left after the shutdown will be split between BTOpenworld, BT's Internet service provider division – which owns a 42 per cent stake, and [email protected] There is no estimate of how much money is likely to be involved, Ben Starkie, Excite's PR spokesman said: "But we are confident there will be some. No one will go unpaid," he said.

[email protected] is due to close down in February 2002. Excite's UK's sister portal, Excite Europe, closed in July this year.