CarTrawler, an Irish technology company that provides digital car-hire services to the travel industry, has been bought for €100m in a deal that sees owners and lenders suffer losses.
The sale to British private equity firm TowerBrook Capital means outgoing owners BC Partner and Insight Ventures are set to walk away empty- handed after paying €450m to buy the company.
Lenders, including Bank of Ireland, will also suffer significant losses.
However, while investors are suffering big losses, the group said it has no plans for any redundancies among its 425 strong staff.
TowerBrook will inject €100m into CarTrawler to acquire the business, while management will retain a stake.
The cash injection will go towards refunding customers, paying suppliers and partners, and a settlement with lenders. The funds will "enable the business to invest to continue to provide the best in class product," said CarTrawler CEO, Cormac Barry.
CarTrawler had been badly hit by the collapse in tourism due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Prior to yesterday's deal CarTrawler had bank debt of around €140m.
Lenders, including Bank of Ireland, have taken a "significant" writedown under the terms of the agreement.
The creditors were paid in cash and have all exited the business.
Bank of Ireland would not comment on the deal yesterday.
Following the investment from TowerBrook, the business will be debt free. CarTrawler recorded earnings of €20m and revenue "north of €200m," last year, Cormac Barry said.
Both he and CarTrawler chairman, Patrick Kennedy - who is also chairman of Bank of Ireland - will remain in their respective roles at the company.
Looking forward, CarTrawler has a "very strong strategic pipeline of new deals we are working on, [we] hope to announce those in the coming weeks with companies in the travel space in one way or another," Mr Barry said.
The first three months of this year were, he said, "very challenging," as the coronavirus spread across the world. However, the firm expects to see a recovery in the second half of the year.
Founded in 2004 by Irish brothers Niall and Greg Turley, CarTrawler's partners include American Express, EasyJet, Hotels.com, KLM, TravelStart and Emirates.
The brothers made around €80m from the 2011 sale to private equity firm ECI, and kept a 25pc stake.
The Turleys exited the business in 2014.
In the latest deal, PJT Partners acted as financial advisor to CarTrawler.
Kirkland & Ellis, McCann FitzGerald, Liberty Corporate Finance, PwC and EY also advised.
Matheson and Sidley Austin were legal advisors to TowerBrook, and Morgan Stanley financial advisers.