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Travelprice.com Raises Funds for European, Canadian Expansion

Internet travel agency Travelprice.com has raised an additional FRF115 million ($17 million) for expansion into Spain, Italy, Belgium and Canada.

The investment comes from Travelprice.com's original backers, Apax Partners & Cie, Partech International and BDPME, along with GE Equity, Fiat subsidiary Exor and Spanish bank BBV/A.

With the additional funds, Travelprice.com also hopes to consolidate its position in France, where it was awarded the national "e-tourisme" prize in December 1999. After creating around 80 jobs and achieving daily earnings of nearly a million francs, the online travel company has set its sights on spanning Europe and other markets.

Later in 2000, Travelprice.com expects to open sites in the U.K., Germany and Denmark, as well as the new subsidiaries announced this week.

Roland Coutas, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelprice.com, said the company is experiencing exponential growth in France and wanted to become the leading international player in the online travel business.

"Our aim is to facilitate the entire travel process for cybersurfers by offering every conceivable type of travel and tourism, and practical services," said Coutas.

In each European country, Travelprice is putting together local teams of tourism and IT professionals to create each version of its service. It has appointed Ugo Tartufari to head the Italian business and Ricardo Gonzalez Vidal to manage the business in Spain.

"Combining the skills of Internet and tourism professionals will allow us to establish a strong local presence for Travelprice.com worldwide," said Pascal Bordat, managing director of Travelprice.com.

Among the services available on Travelprice.com is the facility to check out every flight offered by over 600 airlines. It also offers a selection of 20,000 hotels and 1,000 special promotions.



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