Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Travelocity parent Sabre files for an IPO

Sabre, the travel technology company that owns Travelocity, on Tuesday filed for an initial public offering of its common stock in an effort to raise up to $100 million.

The Texas-based company, which employs about 10,000 people in 60 countries, said in a written statement that it has not yet determined the number of shares to be sold and at what price.

Sabre operates through three business segments: Travel Network; Airline and Hospitality Solutions; and Travelocity. It has been privately held by investment firms TPG and Silver Lake Partners since 2007.

Sabre is a leading technology provider in the travel industry. In 2012, it was responsible for 37% of the air bookings made on global distribution systems. The company touches on most aspects of the travel industry, providing the technology to help travelers make reservations with airlines, hotels, rental car agencies and cruises.

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But it has recorded net losses every year since 2008, its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows. For the first nine months of 2013, it had a net loss of $127.3 million and revenue of $2.35 billion, according to the filing.

The healthier stock market has prompted many private-equity firms to sell their companies. Investors have been particularly flocking to the travel industry, which is climbing back from the bottom it reached during the recession. Blackstone-backed Hilton Worldwide and LaQuinta both recently filed for IPOs.

Sabre said in its filing that it expects spending on technology to grow in the travel industry. Technology spending by the air transportation and hospitality industries grew to $60 billion in 2013 and is expected to exceed $70 billion in 2017, according to Gartner, a technology research firm.

Sabre said in its filing that it plans to use the proceeds of the IPO to pay down debt.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman S! achs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities are underwriting the offer, the company said.

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