Published on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CarTrawler in management buy-out

Private equity firm ECI Partners has helped fund a management buy-out of CarTrawler.

The Dublin-based company specialises in providing technology and a car hire booking system to the travel trade.

Mike McGearty, the former COO of CarTrawler, has been announced as the new chief executive who will lead the next stage of the business’s development.

Bobby Healy will continue as the company’s CTO and Niall Turley will remain director of supply.

A statement said the new funding will help support the continued growth of CarTrawler "organically and through acquisition".

Chris Watt, director at ECI, will join the board and Richard Prosser, formerly MD of the specialist and emerging markets division of TUI Travel Plc, will become chairman.

CarTrawler was founded in 2004 by Greg and Niall Turley in Dublin, who will retain non-
executive director and executive director roles respectively in the business and remain as
significant investors.

The company currently employs 90 people, mainly based in Dublin with an overseas office in Seattle.

By Bev Fearis

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Undercutting is not for the long-term. Demise of volume players.

The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.