LONDON (Brand Republic) - World Travel Holdings has bought Deckchair.com, the online travel company set up by Bob Geldof KBE, for £9.2m.
At its peak, Deckchair.com was valued at £20m, but the company has been hit hard by the dotcom downturn. Last month, it laid off 13 of its staff in a cost-cutting move.
Geldof and former Eidos executive James Page launched the site in April 1999 to address their “increasing frustration” with existing online booking services. The site has 250,000 registered customers.
Cardiff-based World Travel, which runs the WorldTravelDirect.com consumer web site, floated on the AIM last year. It has a much lower profile than Deckchair.com, with 85,000 customers, and it also runs a service for travel agents and a corporate travel service.
The merged company will keep the Deckchair.com name. World Travel said it would pay £3.2m in shares, loan notes and options for Deckchair, with payments of up to £6m to be paid over the next three years, depending on the performance of Deckchair.
World Travel shares opened at 19.8p this morning, up from Friday’s close of 18.5p.