Lastminute.com dismisses HolidayAutos sale talk

Kevin May
Kevin May
June 26, 2009 10:10 AM GMT

Lastminute.com has moved quickly to rule out a speculation that it has put its car hire brand HolidayAutos up for sale.

Travolution also understands a high profile financial consultancy was recently appointed to handle the deal.

However, the online travel agency giant, which purchased the HolidayAutos brand in 2003, said it would not comment on “rumour and speculation”, but stressed that the subsidiary was not on the table.

The latest round of gossip circulating in senior industry circles comes just nine months after lastminute.com was forced to deny similar plans for its high profile bedbank MedHotels, only to announce a few weeks later it had secured a deal to sell it to Thomas Cook Group.

Any move to dispose of HolidayAutos would see the lastminute.com portfolio of companies dramatically reduced in number from the diverse collection bought by Sabre-owned Travelocity in 2005.

Since co-founders Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox sold the business, Deckchair and MedHotels have been offloaded in an attempt to trim the business to the original and core OTA product.

HolidayAutos was launched in 1987 by Clive Jacobs. The company's first website was unveiled in December 1999.

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