Sir Bob Geldof is selling online travel business Deckchair.com
to rival World Travel Holdings in a deal worth nearly £10m.
The former Boomtown Rats singer founded the company in 1999 after becoming frustrated with how difficult it was to book cheap holidays on the internet.
“This deal could never have happened in the recent crazy money market,” he said. “But in a collapsing market, whole new opportunities present themselves for lean and nimble operators like us.
“The logic of this deal is impeccable. The two companies are perfectly complementary. Together, we increase the number of customers while reducing the cost of marketing and technological servicing.”
London-based Deckchair - helped by having such a high-profile founder - has signed up more than 250,000 customers. In contrast, World Travel Holdings has a much lower profile, concentrating on selling holiday deals to businesses.
It is hoped the new company, which will retain the Deckchair brand, will secure a stronger foothold in an extremely competitive marketplace. Last month it laid off 13 of its 51 staff and its value has plummeted since the height of the dot.com boom when it was valued at more than £20m.