Announces Proposal to Acquire OTC for £54.9m

4th Mar 2004

has announced the acquisition proposal of Online Travel Corporation
(OTC) for £54.9m. The purchase will strengthen’s position as the UK’s leading independent online travel and leisure group. will have access to a wider, more
comprehensive choice of travel optionsand a potential customer base
of over 15 million online users through OTC’s owned and operated
sites. The deal will also enhances’s corporate and B2B operations with the addition of OTC’s successful business travel unit,


Commenting on the transaction, Brent Hoberman, Chief Executive
Officer of, said:


“This acquisition represents a major step in’s
development.  The addition of OTC’s established corporate and white
label operations to’s leading branded consumer
businesses will create an even more powerful force in the online
travel and leisure sector.”

  Mark Jones, Chief Executive Officer of OTC, commented:

“This is an exciting combination of two significant e-travel players
in Europe. There is a strong commercial rationale for the transaction
and I expect our customers to benefit from the wider range and
quality of travel products and services the combined group will
offer.  In addition, OTC shareholders are receiving an attractive
premium and, through their holding in, will have the
opportunity to continue to participate in the high growth online
travel and leisure sector.”


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