Dot com. The phrase is synonymous with failure and self-delusion. But some people are making money out of the internet, even if it is only the city slickers who set up this deal.
Lastminute.com announced yesterday it had raised €103m (£74.6m) through a placing in convertible bonds which the online travel agent will use to continue its acquisition spree and develop products.
The rapidly expanding company said last month that it expects to post its first net profit by 2005. It has spent about £98m in the last two years on purchases, including the acquisition of the travel company Holiday Autos.
The bonds, which will mature in 2008, will convert into shares of Lastminute.com at 364.5p, 28 per cent more than Monday’s closing price, the company said in a statement.
Well I don’t know what all that means, but it sounds to me like someone reckons that lastminute is doing some real business.
My reaction to the story was to go myself to the lastminute.com website itself, which I’d never got around to doing before. A tenner for a theatre ticket? Hey, these guys are ticket touts! (Of the nice kind, who lost their bet.) I might have some of that myself, and then maybe I could write about it and double my theatre-going pleasure. Normally London theatre is nearer thirty quid, which is beyond what I’ll pay for something that only might be excellent.
The internet continues to work its economic magic. It isn’t just for give-it-away pulpiteers like us.