Travel.com.au Announces Last Minute Joint Venture Details

Australian travel site travel.com.au has released further
details of its joint venture with lastminute.com, which will see the UK
service introduced to Australia and New Zealand.

Three weeks ago (see
story)
the joint venture between the two online companies was
announced, but terms of agreement were not specified.

New information shows that lastminute.com will provide the joint venture
with technical support and access to its global travel database, and design
and host the JV’s Web site, in exchange for an initial 25.1 per cent share
in the new company.

Lastminute.com also has an option to take a further 25 per cent of the
joint venture, exerciseable for a three month period beginning 18 months
after the new joint Web site is launched.

Travel.com.au, in return for a 74.9 per cent stake in the joint venture,
will contribute its knowldege of the Australian and New Zealand markets,
plus management and seed capital of AUS$3 million (US$1.8 million) for the
start-up operation.

The joint venture will match lastminute’s promise to match supply and
demand at the last minute, with travel.com.au, a site which already
provides a full range of travel products and services for business and
leisure.

In the future, users will be able to access airline tickets, hotel
rooms, package holidays, entertainment tickets, restaurant reservations and
gifts through the shared site and book with little notice or difficulty.

Travel.com.au CEO David Tonkin said lastminute.com would offer products
and services and short notice, “enabling customers to make
spur-of-the-moment decisions about how to spend their time and money”.

Mr Tonkin said the merger with lastminute.com was a “natural fit” for
the Australian travel company.

“It [the merger] is an aspect of e-commerce that we believe the online
consumer has been eagerly awaiting in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

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