Breaking News: Sabre Holdings Completes Acquisition of lastminute.com

Sabre Holdings Corporation has completed the acquisition of lastminute.com plc in a deal which values the company at GBP577 million ($1.41 billion).  The proposal to redeem lastminute.com’s bonds is now unconditional and the bonds will be redeemed on 3 August 2005.

The acquisition price of 165 pence per lastminute.com share values lastminute.com`s Diluted Share Capital at approximately £577 million, including gross debt of approximately £72 million.

Sabre said the acquisition would increase Sabre’s international reach and position them as the leader in Europe.

Michelle Peluso, president and CEO of Travelocity said of lastminute:  “I can’t think of another company that shares such a deep rooted philosophy on both inspiring travel and creating a comprehensive travel experience.  We expect this shared perspective, as well as our combined global capabilities, to help lastminute.com continue its success in Europe, and influence Travelocity worldwide.”

Brent Hoberman, CEO of lastminute.com will head up the new larger organisation, reporting to Michelle Peluso, president and CEO of Travelocity. 

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Hoberman said: “This is a landmark day for lastminute.com.  In just seven years the business has grown from a simple idea into one of Europe’s leading independent online travel and leisure companies.

“This deal marks the beginning of a new chapter in which we look forward to becoming a leading player on the global stage. Being part of Travelocity and Sabre Holdings not only gives us global reach but enables us to offer a wider product range to benefit our customers.”

He added: “While the Travelocity Europe and lastminute.com brands offer a great cultural fit, there is also a natural synergy between the two businesses in terms of product and regional expertise, laying the foundations for a strong combined business which we intend to be a leader in online travel worldwide.”

With the closing of the acquisition, lastminute.com will be the lead brand for Travelocity in most of Europe, and is expected to continue expanding.  Travelocity will support multiple brands where it makes sense, with the intent of sharing underlying infrastructure, technology and supply to drive cost savings. 
Some of the benefits the companies expect to achieve include offering the wide range of discounted hotels through Travelocity’s net rate hotel programme to lastminute.com customers, sharing best-in-class technology capabilities globally, and providing expanded European travel options for Travelocity customers over time.  Additionally, Sabre Holdings’ agency partners may gain additional European travel options that are a part of the lastminute.com portfolio.
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