[email protected], the Internet investment arm of the Arnault Group, and Leisureplanet (www.leisureplanet.com) (“Leisureplanet”), a leading international Internet-based travel services provider that is majority owned by Leisureplanet Holdings, Ltd. (Nasdaq:LPHL), today announced that [email protected] has made a direct investment of $20 million to acquire a 27% equity stake in Leisureplanet.
Commenting on the agreement, Chahram Becharat, Managing Director Europe for [email protected], said: “Travel is one of the largest industries in the world and one that is most suited to Internet transactions. Travel was the third-largest commerce category in 1998 and is forecast to be close to the number-one position this year, with more than $7 billion in transactions. We are very happy to be investing in Leisureplanet, which we feel is one of the very few players based in Europe capable of becoming a worldwide leader of online travel.”
Clive Kabatznik and Pierre Kleinhans, CEOs of LPHL and Leisureplanet, respectively, added: “We are proud to welcome [email protected], one of the most prestigious global Internet investors, as a major shareholder of Leisureplanet. This investment provides us with a strategic shareholder that can add tremendous value to Leisureplanet and moves us closer to our goal to establish Leisureplanet as the leading web-based travel services provider. Moreover, we believe that [email protected]’s selection of Leisureplanet as the vehicle through which to access the exciting online travel services market validates the quality of the Leisureplanet vision, management team and strategic business plan.”
As part of the transaction, LPHL will have the right to invest an additional $10 million into Leisureplanet, at the same valuation as the [email protected] investment, on or before January 31, 2000.