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Online car rental sold

ONLINE car rental company CarTrawler has been sold to UK-based private equity firm BC Partners.

The Dublin-based business provides rental distribution systems and connects customers to more than 1,200 suppliers in 174 countries. It also operates online car rental sites under the Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands.

It was previously bought by private equity firm ECI in 2011.

Under the new deal, BC Partners will buy a majority stake in CarTrawler, while private equity firm Insight Venture Partners will take a minority stake. Management will also retain a shareholding in the company.

Reuters-quoted banking sources said the deal would be backed with debt financing of around €150m or five to 5.25 times CarTrawler's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of approximately €30m. Debt is expected to be provided in the form of senior leveraged loans by Lloyds and RBC and will be syndicated to other lenders in the coming weeks.