Lastminute.com owner considers sale of ‘iconic brand’

Lastminute.com’s owner Sabre Corporation is considering a sale of the brand as the parent company looks to focus on its core business providing technology to the global travel and tourism industry.

Video: A recent Lastminute.com UK TV ad for its Top Secret Hotels product

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KDdJs3XOzw?list=PL1VBv7hSVF1dCaWFB4G7UJmpHJbj4_soC

In a statement, Sabre’s president and CEO Tom Klein describes Lastminute.com as “an iconic brand and an innovative marketer whose legendary ads reinforce what makes spontaneous travel so fun and exciting – and sometimes a little mischievous”.

Lastminute.com was acquired by US-based Sabre, which also owns Travelocity, in 2005 – two years after founder Martha Lane-Fox announced she was to step down as managing director of the company.

In the nine years since the acquisition, Sabre says it has “significantly improved” Lastminute.com’s technology and operations. That has included the launch of mobile apps, products such as Top Secret Hotels, exclusive France holiday packages and a UK lifestyle offering

Last year the brand introduced a new “Love Living Lastminute” strapline in a bid to “celebrate spontaneity” and take the brand back to its original roots.

Sabre says the brand is now “perfectly positioned” to unlock its full growth and profitability potential. Lastminute.com is currently the 247th most visited site in the UK, behind rival Expedia.co.uk (184th) according to site ranking data from Alexa.com.

Sabre reported a 6.6 per cent drop in revenue to $717.5m in the three months to 30 June. The company posted a net loss of $10.9m in the period, down from the $116.9m loss recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

The company has retained investment bank Houlihan Lokey as advisors for the strategic review.

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