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Lastminute owner Sabre set to be snapped up for $5bn

LONDON - Sabre Holdings, the owner of travel and entertainment booking website, is to be bought by venture capitalists for $5bn (£2.54bn).

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Sabre, which also owns Travelocity, has agreed to a takeover by US venture capital firms TPG and Silver Lake Partners.

The company bought Lastminute, a survivor of the dotcom boom, for £577m in May last year.

Under the agreement, announced today, the firms will acquire Sabre for $32.75 a share.

The price was 30% above Sabre Holdings' average closing share price ending December 8.

Karl Peterson, a partner at TPG Partner, said: "We are excited by the opportunity to invest in Sabre, given its leadership position in travel technology and distribution and the strength of Travelocity and its other leading online brands."

Sam Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Sabre, said the acquisition represented a "compelling outcome" for all involved and said it was "a clear endorsement of our business model, our industry leadership and the hard work and dedication of our talented people around the world".

Greg Mondre, managing director of Silver Lake Partners, said Sabre has a "remarkable track record".

Earlier this year, Lastminute founder Brent Hoberman stood down as chief executive to become a part-time chairman.

The website was founded in 1998 by Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, who left in 2003.

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