Lastminute Announces Proposed Acquisition of Holiday Autos has announced its intention to acquire holiday autos, the largest leisure car rental broker in the world.
The initial consideration for holiday autos is £39.7 million and will be satisfied by the issue of 27,191,771 Consideration Shares and £16.0 million in cash.
The Company has put in place arrangements to finance the cash component of the consideration, in part, by an issue of 14,814,815 Placing Shares at 81 pence per share, fully underwritten by Cazenove & Co. Ltd. The remaining proportion of the cash consideration of £4.0 million will be provided from`s existing cash resources.

Deferred consideration of up to £3.3 million will be payable subject to certain performance criteria.
Key Highlights

? Transforming acquisition to significantly increase the size and scale of

? Acquisition immediately earnings enhancing for

? Considerably enhanced average margins before synergies


? Creates synergies of at least £4.0 million in the year to 30 September 2004

? Substantially increases’s critical mass in Germany, a key market

? Combined TTV of £400 million and gross profit of £83 million in the 2002 financial year

? Enhancement of’s dynamic packaging product, Breakbuilder

Subject to completion of the Acquisition, the Board proposes to appoint Clive Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive of holiday autos, as an Executive Director and Vice Chairman of


Allan Leighton, Chairman of, said:

“This Acquisition moves us materially towards our goal of delivering £1 billion of TTV with significant margins and EBITDA in the medium term. has made substantial progress in the past year towards becoming Europe’s leading online lifestyle retailer and today’s proposed acquisition completes that task.  holiday autos is a logical extension to’s existing travel and leisure offering and will provide an enhanced product offering and geographic extension for the enlarged group’s customers.”

Brent Hoberman
, Chief Executive of, said:

“The acquisition of holiday autos will allow us to offer much improved car hire supply to our customers.  In addition, this offering will considerably enhance Breakbuilder, launched in November 2002 by giving our customers a unique range of products.  We are committed to extending Breakbuilder’s geographic range to other European countries and the strength of holiday autos in key countries like Germany will be of significant benefit for the enlarged Group. We are especially pleased that Clive Jacobs and his key senior management team will be joining our Group bringing with them expertise of an industry gained over the past 15 years.”

Clive Jacobs, Chief Executive of holiday autos, said:

“I am proud of the growth that we have achieved at holiday autos and the brand strength we have built across our sector.  By becoming part of, we will have the opportunity to develop our business further and offer our customers a comprehensive range of additional products and services while’s customers will benefit from the relationships we have built with our suppliers across the world.”

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