lastminute.com has confirmed it has completed a joint venture agreement with Kinki Nippon Tourist Co. Ltd., Nippon Travel Agency Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Corporation/MC Capital Fund, Credit Saison Co. Ltd & Japan Efund to establish an e-commerce business under the lastminute.com brand in Japan.
Mr. Hirotsugu Nagasawa, General Manager of Kinki Nippon Tourist Co Ltd.`s Corporate Planning Office, has been named Managing Director and Representative Director to the board. He brings with him over 30 years of travel experience at Kinki Nippon Tourist Co. Ltd and will ensure that the venture obtains maximum leverage from both Kinki Nippon Tourist Co. Ltd and Nippon Travel Agency Co Ltd`s considerable market expertise and existing technology platforms. Both travel companies will package exclusive travel products for the business, as well as providing access to their domestic and international late availability travel supply. They have also agreed online marketing relationships with their respective internet sites as well as regular promotions to their existing customers.
Credit Saison Ltd. has joined the venture and aims to create synergies with their travel and entertainment properties through marketing lastminute.com to their existing database of over 12 million cardholders.
Japan Efund who have also joined will provide business partnering and managerial support in conjunction with Mitsubishi Corporation/ MC Capital Fund, co-ordinator of the joint venture. Both parties will have one seat on the board.
lastminute.com will sign an exclusive license agreement with the joint venture company to allow it to develop the lastminute.com brand within Japan, where 66% of travellers book their travel less than 1 month before departure. lastminute.com will provide access to its international database of supply and other support during the launch and start-up phase, as well as occupying two seats on the board of directors. The office will open next week in Tokyo, although no formal date has been announced for the launch of the site.