Lastminute flies high with Expedia UK

And other tales from the Bubble Economy

07 June 2000

Logistics company Christian Salvesen is looking to roll out its SHARPnet service which will let customers track consignment movements online. The food distribution company has also set aside 100 million for a three-year acquisition plan, which will target companies in France, Italy and the Benelux countries.


Four technology companies pulled into the FTSE100 index three months ago (when dotcom floats were big news) have been booted out due to the recent drop in tech share prices. Baltimore, Psion, Kingston Communications and Thus are to be replaced by three style firms Hanson (brickmaker), Ocean (freight), Scottish & Newcastle (brewers), and Bookham Technology - a fibre optic designer.


The chairman of London Clubs International has snubbed the Internet, saying the casino operator will not go online until there is adequate regulation. Alan Goodenough said he didn't want to run his business by "participating in precipitous fashion in a largely poor quality and potentially unregulated melee", reported the FI. He's in a strong position - at the same time, he announced a 15 per cent increase in pre-tax profits on last year.


06 June 2000

Lastminute has scored an exclusive deal to peddle last minute flights and to auction air tickets on travel site Expedia.co.uk. Lastminute will also flog restaurant bookings and hotel places, all with a shelf-life off 72 hours or less, on what many might consider to be a rival operation.

It's certainly a good deal for Lastminute, and for Expedia, too. Might make the site more useful. It would be interesting to know how the revenue split works out, a detail which is not contained in the press release.


The UK software team behind Web search engine AltaVista has won £5 million venture capital for its latest Internet company. Peramon, which develops software for the mobile Internet market, today announced £2.5 million cash from Royal Bank Development Capital – a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The funds will partly be used to up staff numbers to 50. Peramon was founded a year ago by 18 Digital Equipment employees, who were made redundant when from PC manufacturer when it was bought by Compaq.


Names.co will today announce a reverse take-over of Aim-traded Goodwood in a £11.4 million stock deal. The domain name registrar, which made 150,000 pre-tax profit on 325,000 sales in the eight months to March, will get a flotation out of the deal.


Independent News & Media is to float its iTouch mobile division by the end of this year. iTouch has bases in four countries - UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. The UK setup isn't operational yet but should be a couple of weeks, according to the company's chairman Tony O'Reilly. It has hired Merrill Lynch to advise and is expected to be worth over 250 million.


Robert Madge has started a wireless subsidiary, Red-M, to his troubled Madge Networks. Red-M is to develop wireless servers using Bluetooth so mobiles etc can be connected to the Net through a main server rather than having to log on individually. The company's first products should be out by the end of the year. ®

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