Travel and tickets website lastminute.com – one of the legends of the dotcom era – has been sold for $120m (£76m) to Swiss travel group Bravofly Rumbo.
Current owner Sabre, which bought lastminute.com in 2005 in a deal that valued it at £577m, had been looking to offload the business for some months. Sabre said it wanted to focus and invest in its core technology businesses, which include travel network, airline solutions and hospitality.
The deal, nearly 10 years later and for considerably less, has come about from the transfer of commercial liabilities and an expanded long-term commercial agreement, which will allow Bravofly to use Sabre's global distribution system.
“The transaction would not have a material effect on Bravofly Rumbo Group’s net cash position,” a statement said today.
Bravofly is hoping to use the acquisition to make “a significant step forward in the group’s longterm strategy to help people get the best travel experience”.
Under the terms of the offer, Bravofly Rumbo will acquire all of lastminute.com's principal global operations in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, which totals revenues of more than 260m euros.
The deal, announced today, is expected to complete in the first quarter of next year, following consultation with staff. Sabre was advised by Houlihan Lokey.
Fabio Cannavale, chairman of Bravofly Rumbo Group, said: “Lastminute.com is the perfect fit for Bravofly Rumbo Group. Its business complements and expands our offering in Europe and, with its strong presence in the hotel and vacation sector, diversifies our product revenue streams. We believe in the value and strength of lastminute.com’s iconic brand, which is recognized by more than 90 per cent of European consumers.”