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Lastminute.com sold to Swiss travel firm in £76m deal

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image captionMartha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman founded Lastminute.com in 1998

Lastminute.com, the firm which came to fame at the height of the dot.com boom in 2000, has been sold to Swiss travel firm Bravofly Rumbo for $120m (£76m).

The online travel booking service, founded by Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman in October 1998, was sold by US tech firm Sabre Holdings.

Sabre said in August it was looking to sell Lastminute.com to focus on its other technology businesses.

It bought Lastminute.com in 2005 in a deal valuing the company at £577m.

The group was valued at £768m when it floated on the London stock exchange in 2000.

But within weeks its shares had fallen below their flotation price and it took three years to make a pre-tax profit.

Under the terms of this offer, Bravofly Rumbo will acquire all of Lastminute.com's main global operations in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, following consultation with staff.

Fabio Cannavale, Chairman of Bravofly Rumbo Group, said the firm was a "perfect fit".

"Its business complements and expands our offering in Europe and, with its strong presence in the hotel and vacation sector, diversifies our product revenue streams," he added.

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