Lastminute.com gains 25.5% on debut

 

Lastminute.com squeezed the highest price it could out of its flotation yesterday but still left room for its shares to leap on their debut as Internet fever beat off Internet fear.

The loss-making online merchant for impulse purchasers sold a quarter of its shares at 380p sterling, the top of its already hiked price range in one of Britain's most frenzied Internet flotations. The shares shot to as high as 555p before retracing to close at 4771/2p - still a fat premium to the issue price - valuing the company at £718 million (#1.17 billion).