Saturday 18 November 2017

Travelport selling shares ahead of move to Dublin

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

TRAVELPORT, the travel reservation systems company which plans to move to Dublin within months, appointing former chairman of Allied Irish Banks Dermot Gleeson as chairman, began selling shares yesterday.

The New York-based company, whose owners include venture capital group Blackstone, began selling the shares in an initial public offering valuing the company at as much as $3.45bn (€2.5bn). The shares will be listed in London and are expected to begin trading on February 12.

Travelport had been pre-marketed in 2008 but it never went ahead with a listing because of poor market conditions.

Travelport's initial public offering (IPO) is likely to be part of many similar deals from private equity firms that want to exit acquisitions they made at the height of the credit boom, bankers said yesterday.

European IPOs fell to their lowest level in five years in 2009.

Travelport last month named former AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson as chairman.

Mr Gleeson resigned from the bank last year after six years at the top following a stormy annual shareholder meeting which saw him pelted with eggs and criticised by many more for his failure to halt the bank's self-confessed "reckless" lending. The company owns 48pc of online booking company Orbitz Worldwide as well as the Galileo and Worldspan brands, and posted third-quarter sales of $570m, down from $634m a year earlier.

The business is "now poised for cyclical rebound", chief executive Jeff Clarke said recently.

Travelport also said that Singapore's investment fund had bought a $225m stake in the company and would own a 7.2pc stake after the IPO.

Irish Independent

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