SEATTLE -- Global Leisure, confirming weeks of speculation, said it
sold escorted tour company Maupintour to Lowestfare.com, a Las
Vegas-based discount travel Web site controlled by Carl Icahn,
former chairman of TWA.
Terms of the sale were not revealed.
A Global Leisure spokesman also confirmed that Los Angeles-based
Jetset Tours, an airline consolidator owned by Global Leisure, is
in negotiations to be sold to a Carl Icahn-controlled company.
However, it is not clear whether Maupintour, one of the most
respected names in the escorted travel business, and Jetset would
be part of the same company if the sale is completed, the spokesman
Ravi Rao, Seattle-based Global Leisure chief executive officer,
said his company's strategy in selling Maupintour is to focus on
FIT package brands.
Lowestfare.com is headed by Ken Swanton, former Carlson
executive and Internet Travel Network (now GetThere.com) chief
The firm could not be reached to discuss plans for Maupintour
The sale of Lawrence, Kan.-based Maupintour comes after a period
of upheaval for Global Leisure.
The company was one of the first "roll ups" in the industry when
it was created in early 1997 after Sunmakers founder Bob Brennan
sold it to Seattle businessman Mike Lavigne.
Lavigne hung on to the company for two years, selling it earlier
this year to Genesis Diversified Investments, owned by Southern
California businessman Ramy El-Batrawi.
El-Batrawi entered the industry when he bought the Jet Vacations
name from Air France four years ago and brought in Rao, a former
Air France district sales manager, as president.