Skift Take

Sabre acquired the once-proud brand, Lastminute.com, for nearly $1.2 billion in 2005 -- and now is selling it for about one-tenth of the initial acquisition cost. Sabre bungled the Lastminute.com acquisition and integration and now it is finally unloading the company after years of trying so Sabre can get rid of a profit drain and focus on its core businesses.

Sabre is close to selling UK-headquartered Lastminute.com to Switzerland-based online travel agency group, Bravofly Rumbo for $120 million subject to additional consultation and formal acceptance of the offer.

Sabre acquired Lastminute.com for nearly $1.2 billion in 2005 — and now is selling it for about one-tenth of the initial acquisition cost.

Public company Sabre outsourced Travelocity’s North America operations to Expedia in last 2013 and has been looking to sell online travel agency LastMinute.com for years, having formally announced LastMinute.com was exploring strategic options in August.

Through the first nine months of 2014, Lastminute.com contributed a $7 million loss to Sabre’s adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) on $119 million in revenue, according to an Security and Exchange Commission filing.

Under the terms of the Lastminute.com acquisition, Bravofly Rumbo Group would acquire Lastminute.com global operations, mainly in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, and Bravofly Rumbo would agree to have LastMinute.com continue to use the Sabre global distribution system under a long-term agreement.
Lastminute.com does some $406.5 million in annual revenue, Sabre states.

Bravofly Rumbo Group operates websites in 15 languages but its core markets are Italy, Spain and France.

The company hopes the acquisition of Lastminute.com would enable it to expand to other markets in Europe, and it is also seeking growth in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

“Lastminute.com is the perfect fit for Bravofly Rumbo Group,” said Fabio Cannavale, chairman of Bravofly Rumbo Group. “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. We believe in the value and strength of lastminute.com’s iconic brand, which is recognized by more than 90 percent of European consumers.”

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Tags: bravofly, lastminute.com, otas, sabre, travelocity

Photo credit: Lastminute.com is being sold to Bravofly Rumbo Group. PlaceIt by Breezi

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