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Sale of CarTrawler nets brothers €80m

BROTHERS Greg and Niall Turley have made about €40m each from the sale of their internet car rental booking system, CarTrawler. It was bought by British firm ECI Partners.

The business, which was established in 2004, was estimated to be worth between €100m and €110m.

Its online booking system is used in 175 countries and the Turleys are reported to be retaining a minority stake.

The company was sold through a competitive sale process, with at least six firms said to have expressed a serious interest in buying it.

Greg Turley has resigned as chief executive, but will remain a director of the company, while his brother Niall will stay on as a director of supply. The company's 90-strong workforce will remain in place.

The brothers each owned about 43pc of the company, with Bobby Healy, CarTrawler's chief technical officer, holding a 10pc stake while chairman David Hargaden had 3.5pc.

At the weekend, Mr Turley said running the company had been "an exciting journey and it should continue to grow under ECI and its new chief executive Mike McGearty". It has "aggressive expansion plans", Mr Turley added.

The Turley family was previously involved in Argus Car Hire which was sold to Irish Car Rentals in 2007.

CarTrawler provides web-based software to airlines, travel agents, tourist agencies and others so they can provide a car-hire booking service.

Over 550 car hire firms, including major brands such as Avis, Hertz and National, as well as independent companies, provide details of their car hire inventory for CarTrawler. It takes a percentage cut from all the car rental bookings done through its systems.

Irish Independent