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Europ@Web Injects $20 Million in Leisureplanet

Europ@Web, the Internet investment arm of France's Arnault Group, Monday invested a 27 percent stake in Leisureplanet, an online travel firm specializing in international vacations.

The investment, worth $20 million, is part of Europ@Web's investment strategy to fund Internet-related companies with strong growth potential in either the United States or Europe. Leisureplanet, owned by Leisureplanet Holdings, Ltd. (LPHL) is based in London, with offices throughout Europe and the United States.

Leisureplanet provides travel booking and customer services to online consumers through its own Web sites, partner sites and international media companies including Yahoo!, Lycos and InfoSpace. The service features a hotel database; flight, car and hotel reservation facilities; package holidays and cruises and comprehensive proprietary travel guides on more than 180 travel destinations.

"Travel is one of the largest industries in the world and one that is most suited to Internet transactions," said Chahram Becharat, managing director Europe for Europ@Web. "We are very happy to be investing in Leisureplanet, which we feel is one of the very few players based in Europe capable of becoming a worldwide leader of online travel."