Lastminute.com, the British seller of short-notice vacations that became synonymous with the end of the Internet boom, said Wednesday that it might be bought by an unidentified suitor, and its shares soared 45 percent.
A spokeswoman for Lastminute, which sells vacation packages and flights over the Internet at short notice, declined to name the interested party, nor to say how much it might be prepared to pay.
The London-based company, whose March 2000 initial public offer made its founders, Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, millionaires just as Web stocks peaked, said it had been approached about a possible takeover.
IAC/InterActiveCorp’s Expedia, Cendant, which owns Orbitz and CheapTickets.com, or Sabre Holdings’s Travelocity.com may be interested in the company, said Robin Chhabra, an analyst at Evolution Securities in London.
Cendant in December bought ebookers, the largest European online travel agency, for $404.3 million. Expedia and Travelocity have operations in Europe, including Britain, Germany and France.
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