Travelocity to buy lastminute.com

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The Independent Online

The online travel group lastminute.com is to be bought up by the owner of rival Travelocity in a deal worth £577 million, it was announced today.

The online travel group lastminute.com is to be bought up by the owner of rival Travelocity in a deal worth £577 million, it was announced today.

US-based Sabre Holdings said it had agreed the terms of a takeover of lastminute, which floated on the London Stock Exchange during the dotcom boom in March 2000.

The deal was announced a day after lastminute shares soared 48% in the wake of its confirmation that it had received a takeover approach.

The proposed deal will enable the founders of lastminute, Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman, to pick up multi-million pound windfalls.

Mr Hoberman, who is still chief executive, will receive just over £26 million for his 15.8 million shares, while Ms Lane Fox's stake of 8.2 million shares is worth around £13.5 million.

However, the pair's holdings are still worth far less than the levels seen in 2000, following a significant slump in the company's share price.

Sabre is proposing to pay 165p a share, way off the peak seen during the tech boom of 560p, and the 313.75p achieved in 2003.

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