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Travelocity Parent Company To Purchase Lastminute.com

Chris Crum
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-12

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Travelocity's parent company, Sabre Holdings Corp. is purchasing British rival company Lastminute.com for about 577 million pounds ($1.1 billion).

"We're extremely pleased with the prospect of having Lastminute.com, with its highly-regarded brand and well-established customer base, as a part of our Travelocity division," said Sabre Holdings chairman Sam Gilliland.

Sabre's Travelocity Europe is paying 1.65 pounds ($3.08) a share for Lastminute.com. The combination of these two companies will create Europe's largest online travel retailer. Jonathan Loades Carter & Lina Saigol at Business Standard write:

Although Lastminute's board did not rule out the possibility of another bidder stepping in, they recommended Sabre's offer, which values Lastminute at £577 million ($1.1 billion) or £606 million including gross debt, to shareholders who will vote on the deal next month.

Among those set to gain from Thursday's deal will be co-founders Brent Hoberman, chief executive, and Martha Lane Fox. Hoberman will receive just over £26 million for his 4.6 per cent stake, while Lane Fox's 2.7 per cent holding is worth about £13.5 million.

Lastminute.com's CEO, Brent Hoberman who was also a co-founder will keep his position at the new combined company. Hoberman and Lastminute.com's other co-founder Martha Lane Fox, will get about 40 million pounds ($75 million) out of the deal.

Lastminute.com shares went up 12% today in London. According to Bloomberg News, they were at 167 pence at 1:33 p.m. local time, boosting the company's market value to about 570 million pounds. The company's stock has increased by 58% over the last two days.

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About the Author:
Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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