Speculation continues to grow around Lastminute.com Group's ownership. In the meantime it's getting on with expanding its presence across the globe.
European online travel giant Lastminute.com Group has bought Indian review site HolidayIQ for an undisclosed sum.
The group, which now goes by the name LM Holding, reported the deal on Friday at the end of a trading update ahead of its full-year results.
The acquisition adds to Lastminute.com’s existing user-generated content business and also allows it to “explore opportunities to develop the presence of the group in a fast-growing market like India, leveraging on a strong local brand,” the company said.
The companies finalized the deal in January.
HolidayIQ was once talked about as India’s answer to Tripadvisor. It listed Tiger Global Management, Accel, and MakeMyTrip among its investors. Crunchbase estimated that it had raised $20 million in two funding rounds.
HolidayIQ did not respond to a request for comment.
The founder of HolidayIQ Hari Nair appears to have left the business according to his Linkedin profile, which now lists him as “exploring new initiatives.”
Ahead of its full-year report scheduled for release in March, Lastminute.com reported a 181 percent increase in net profit to $25.6 million (€23.6 million) and a 20 percent rise in revenue to $366.2 million (€337.8 million).
Lastminute.com might not just be doing the buying. Speculation since the start of the year suggests it’s open to selling a stake in the business.
Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported on possible private equity interest from Triton. The Swedish firm has a track record in the travel industry with a recent involvement in Sunweb Group. A separate story from Mergermarket.com talked about a potential sale of a minority stake.
“The company is today in an advanced stage of discussion about a possible corporate transaction. Interested parties include, among others, the Scandinavian PE fund Triton,” Lastminute.com said in a statement released earlier this month.
Photo credit: Stakna Monastery on the banks of the Indus. Indian firm HolidayIQ has been bought by Lastminute.com Group. lensnmatter / Flickr