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Lastminute.com rocks following bid approach

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Shares in Lastminute.com jumped 45 per cent today following news that an unnamed suitor has been sniffing round the one-time dotcom darling.

By 4.30pm this afternoon shares in the online travel and gift outfit were up 47.75p (45 per cent) at 153p.

A statement issued to the Stock Exchange at lunchtime today said: "The Board of lastminute.com notes today's share price movement and confirms that it has received an approach which may or may not result in an offer being made for the Company."

The company declined to name the suitor, which is why analysts and industry watchers are now busy trying to figure out who is behind the approach. Names currently being tossed around include US travel giants such as Cendant or Sabre Holdings.

Analysts also predict that Lastminute.com's share price could rise still further if other potential bidders are flushed out by the approach.

In February Lastminute.com reported that takings for the three months to the end of December were up more than 80 per cent at £264.4m. At the same time, gross profit was £43.7m, up from £25m in the previous year. Despite this, the company reported a loss of £1.8m, more than the £1.1m in the same period a year before. ®

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