ebookers.com Buys Scandinavian Online Travel Agency

[London, ENGLAND] European travel company ebookers.com
announced Wednesday its acquisition of Scandinavian online travel
agency MrJet.

The deal is costing ebookers.com around 2.6 percent of its
issued share capital on a fully diluted basis.

In return, ebookers.com is acquiring a subsidiary that has
performed consistently over the past year and has accumulated
0.2 million registered users. According to independent
auditor MMXI, MrJet’s site had over 130,000 unique visitors
per month during January and February 2001, and is among
the top four travel sites in Sweden.

Dinesh Dhamija, chief executive of ebookers.com, said the
acquisition would place his company at the head of the pack
in Scandinavia which is one of Europe’s most advanced Internet
regions in terms of usage.

“Along with organic growth, we see acquisitions as a key way
of furthering our leading European market position. We will
be considering further acquisitions at appropriate stages
and values in key markets over the forthcoming year,” said
Dhamija.

ebookers.com has now made 12 acquisitions since the summer
of 1999 and is certainly justified in calling itself a
pan-European travel agency. It now serves 11 European countries.

Its latest acquisition, MrJet, also serves several countries
besides Sweden, selling mainly flights but also other travel
products to customers in Norway, Finland, and Denmark. MrJet’s
turnover in 2000 was approximately US $10 million.

MrJet came into existence in 1997 as a travel channel within
the Scandinavian Internet portal Spray. In 1999 it was launched
as a separate company and now achieves nearly 90 percent of
its sales online.

Henrik Kjellberg, chief executive of MrJet, said his company
looked forward to consolidating its strengths and being part
of a major online presence in Northern Europe.

Like MrJet, ebookers.com also became a separate company in
1999, being the technology and travel spin-off from
London-based travel agency Flightbookers plc. It continues
to expand at a time when some other online travel agencies
are retrenching. Earlier this week, U.K. agency deckchair.com
merged with World Travel Holdings on what many observers believe
were unfavorable terms.

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