Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Too busy looking at Travelport to see the money chasing Sabre

We were all so busy tracking the Travelport and Worldspan rumours that the hints around the possible privatisation missed me until today. Forbes (and many others) say that there are two PE groups bidding for the business in the $4billion dollar range. The stock price has reacted accordingly - up more than 10% at the time I type this. Lots of good assets inside Sabre - of course there is Travelocity and Lastminute - but also the small but successful Holiday Autos and the booming in the US Site59.

Not that it will likely weigh much in the mind of the PE bidders - their weakness is in the Asian online market. Zuji talks a good game with localised sites in many countries - Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Korea- but in each of those (except I think Taiwan) they are well behind the leaders despite years in the market and millions in marketing money. Mainly this is due to the product - both functionality and inventory - always being a step behind the competition. The single ownerships structure (as opposed to their early life under a dozen or more airlines) should help fix this however that will depend on them having the right management and almost flawless execution.

UPDATE - here is RedHerring's take on the announced deal. Thanks to Anon in the comments below for being the first to let me know of confirmation of the deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sabre Holdings Corp. has added a news release to its Investor Relations website.

Title: Sabre Holdings to Be Acquired by TPG and Silver Lake Partners for $5 Billion