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Airtours founder sells online car hire business in £25 million deal

Airtours founder David Crossland is set to sell his online car hire business for around £25 million.


TravelJigsaw, which trades as Carhire3000.com and operates more than 10 car hire brands in central Europe as well as operations in South Africa and Australia, is on the verge of being bought by private equity firm ISIS.


All bookings with the company, which is based in Manchester, are made online and through a free call centre which stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


The company, which launched its first website in January 2005, is run by managing director Greg Wills. In April 2005 the company launched a German-language site for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets.


It has now grown to become one of the largest car rental brokers in Europe with turnover up 86% to £37.3 million for the year ending December 31, 2007, while profits were up 373% to £2.2 million.


Crossland first made a fortune of £150 million from Airtours which started off as a single travel agency in Pendle, Lancashire, and then went on to become one of the biggest travel firms in the world.

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