Ebookers Buys Swedish Online Travel Agency

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United Kingdom-based Ebookers.com last month bought MrJet, Scandinavia's leading Web travel firm, in a straight share swap. Other financial details were not disclosed.

Sweden-based MrJet's gross sales totaled $10 million last year, and it has consistently been among the top four travel sites in Sweden based on unique visitor figures from research firm MMXI, an Ebookers statement said.

Ebookers has been on an acquisition binge since 1999, buying about a dozen European online travel businesses. The company said the Scandinavian purchase should help it break even by the end of this year.

Already listed on Frankfurt's new market, the company plans a listing on the London stock exchange this month.

Sales last year totaled $154.1 million, up sixfold from 1999 totals of $24.9 million, the company reported. Per-share losses for the year amounted to 20 cents, a loss pared to 4.3 cents in the fourth quarter, when sales hit $43.6 million.

Ebookers CEO Dinesh Dhamija said he planned further acquisitions this year, seeing them as "a key way of furthering our leading European market position." The company has rolled out across 11 European countries and has become a leading Pan-European marketer.

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