I-Spire to lift travel stake

I-Spire, the internet investment group run by Tesco heir John Porter, is expected to announce on Monday that it is lifting its stake in Pacific International, an Australian travel group.
The Aim-traded group, which also owns 12.5 per cent of the Ministry of Sound`s music portal and 24 per cent of Cheapflights.com, a UK-based travel website, is expected to increase its stake in Pacific from 30 to 73 per cent.
I-Spire was formed by Mr Porter, grandson of Jack Cohen, founder of Tesco, the UK-based retailer, in March last year. In December it reversed into Glenchewton, a cash shell. It invests in the travel and leisure and internet infrastructure sectors, and has 13 partner companies.
The consideration for the 43 per cent stake is about £2m ($2.8m). The group, which will announce its annual results this week, will issue about 2m shares in return for shares in Pacific.
Pacific sells package holidays, airfares, accommodation and other travel-related products to agents in the Pacific basin.
It had sales of E32m (£19.3m; $27.2m) for the year to June 30 2000. It earned commissions of E3.5m, and made a net loss of E2m in the 12-month period.