Lastminute.com has snapped up another European rival in the shape of Travelprice.com for £31.9m in shares.
But the company insists that it will now rein in its spending spree and look to bed down recent acquisitions.
The deal means a further dilution of the listed firm's shares, following the April and June purchases of Travelselect for £9m and The Destinations Holding Group for £12m.
All the deals have been conducted in shares as Lastminute.com nurtures its cash reserves on the way towards overall profitability.
Travelprice.com is one of the largest online travel and leisure providers in France and Italy, and has operations in Spain and Belgium.
It is especially strong in the packaged holidays market, and will add €10m (£6.3m) to the UK-based group's £34.7m cash balances.
Lastminute.com chief executive Brent Hoberman explained that the deal would mean annual savings of at least €10m (£6.3m). Job cuts in France are likely, and one-off costs will come in at around £3m.
"This broadens our supply base, leverages substantial cost and margin synergies and provides a significant improvement in the supply for customers," he said.
Roland Coutas, chief executive at Travelprice.com, is scheduled to join Lastminute.com's executive committee on 1 March 2003.
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