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Friday, September 17, 1999 Published at 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK


Business: The Company File

Online travel firm may float

Holidaymakers use Lastminute.com to book flights to the sun

Internet travel company Lastminute.com is planning to float on the stock market - at an estimated value of £400m.

The firm, which was founded only last year, may also seek a Nasdaq listing as it is poised to break into the US market.

London-based Lastminute offers cheap deals on flights and hotel bookings in the UK and France, as well as gifts, auctions and entertainment.


[ image: Lastminute.com could be worth £400m]
Lastminute.com could be worth £400m
It was launched by two former management consultants, Brent Hoberman, 30, and Martha Lane Fox, 26. This year, it expects revenues of about £6.2m.

The site has proved popular with people wanting bargains but without shopping around.

Now the founders are planning to launch a prospectus and are appointing Morgan Stanley Dean Witter as adviser.

The site recently launched in France and plans to do so in Germany, too.

Mr Hoberman said: "We're working on getting a US offering out as soon as possible. Since we're also looking at the US market we wouldn't want to exclude US investors."

But he declined to comment on analysts' estimated value.

"Market conditions will be what they are at the time," he said. "If we can keep carrying our momentum and present the public with a rock-solid business case - which we do - the sky's the limit."



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