UK's Mulls US Takeover Bid

13 May 2005

The UK's biggest online travel business, has been made a "compelling offer" by the US group, Sabre Holdings.

The Texas-headquartered operator of has offered £577 million ($1.08bn; €844.34m) for the London company to create Europe's largest internet travel service.

However, analysts say there is still a chance that rival US groups IAC/InterActiveCorp which owns the Expedia travel website, or Cendant, which agreed to buy the UK's Ebookers last year, might launch a counter bid.

Lastminute chairman Brian Collie says he cannot rule out a counter offer as the firm has attracted plenty of interest over recent years, but adds the deal with Sabre is compelling. was founded in 1998 by Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, who left at the end of 2003. The pair own more than 7% of the company's stock and stand to make £26m and £13.5m, respectively, from the takeover.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff