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After 16 Years, Brent Hoberman’s LastMinute Selling at a Loss


One of the hottest British dot.coms that rose high and fell hard hard is now being placed on the auction block by parent company Sabre to be sold at a loss. In 1998, LastMinute, founded by Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, later Baroness Lane, was a fast-growing focused on travel services.  U.S. company Sabre bought it for 600 British pounds or over $1 billion in 2005, after LastMinute dropped significantly in the fall-off the boom. Sabre, obviously, thought they were getting LastMinute for a bargain.

LastMinute showed promise of making a comeback, and although much money was spent on increasing marketing and making changes at the travel site, Sabre has decided that the acquisition has not lived up to its promise. At its highest point, the company was worth 800 million pounds or $1.33 billion; it didn’t pay for Sabre to wait until the last minute to sell LastMinute.

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