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Two struggling online travel agencies, Sabre’s LastMinute.com and TUI Group’s AsiaRooms.com, have met their disparate fates.
Sabre announced today that it closed on its previously announced sale of UK-headquartered LastMinute.com to Switzerland-based Bravofly Rumbo Group for a transaction value of $120 million.
However, Sabre, which acquired LastMinute.com in 2005 for nearly $1.2 billion, essentially sold LastMinute.com to Bravofly Rumbo Group by transferring liabilities and winning a long-term commitment for Bravofly’s brands to continue using the Sabre global distribution system.
LastMinute.com had been part of Sabre’s Travelocity unit and had been for sale for an extended period as Sabre dismantled Travelocity, selling its North America operations to Expedia Inc. and now its European operations to Bravofly Rumbo Group.
If LastMinute.com gets a reprieve, TUI Travel PLC, which is now part of the TUI Group, has decided to shutter AsiaRooms.com, which offered rooms throughout Asia and Europe.
“In a highly competitive market, AsiaRooms.com has struggled over the years to perform in line with expectations and we have not seen the improvements needed in order to support further investment,” said a TUI spokesperson. “Coupled with ever-changing consumer habits, this has meant that AsiaRooms.com no longer represents our biggest opportunity for growth and we have therefore taken the decision to close the business.”
When TUI AG of Germany announced last June that it would be acquiring the UK’s TUI Travel, of which AsiaRooms.com was a part, TUI AG revealed that TUI Travel’s online travel agencies, including LateRooms.com and AsiaRooms.com, were considered non-core assets.
There presumably were no significant buyers for AsiaRooms.com while LateRooms.com continues operations.