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First Choice buys LateRooms.com in deal worth up to £120m

02 January 2007 by
First Choice buys LateRooms.com in deal worth up to £120m

Travel agency First Choice has acquired LateRooms.com for a fee that could rise to £120m.

The company snapped up the hotel booking website for £108m on Saturday, but could end up paying another £12m during the next three years depending on its performance.

LateRooms.com, which receives more than a million visitors a month, achieved turnover last year of £7.1m with profit of £3.4m. This year, it expects turnover to top £11m.

Peter Long, First Choice's chief executive, said: "Operating in a high-growth sector, we see considerable opportunity to increase LateRooms's future profitability even further.

"It has a distinct business model serving a niche market segment at low cost. LateRooms is a significant addition to our portfolio and enables us to offer even better late availability deals to our customers."

First Choice said the deal would enable Laterooms to build on its strong position in the UK and its growing presence in Spain, France, Italy and beyond. The site currently has 13,000 properties across the UK and Europe.

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By Daniel Thomas

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