lastminute.com is looking for new ownership after Sabre Holdings took the decision to offload the travel firm.
Sabre has appointed bankers at advisory firm Houlihan Lokey to oversee an auction, and has already begun sounding out potential buyers.
Prospective buyers could include private equity firms or rival online travel groups such as Expedia.
Sabre has four main divisions, with lastminute.com operating as a subsidiary of Travelocity, Sabre’s group of travel e-commerce businesses.
The site has struggled to make an impact elsewhere in Europe with its biggest market share in the UK and France.
A spokesman for Sabre told the Times said: “We are always reviewing options to make our technology company as successful, relevant and innovative as possible.”