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Published on Monday, July 3, 2006

How big will the impact of the sale of Travelport actually be?

The announcement at the end of last week that Cendant has agreed to sell its massive travel distribution services subsidiary, Travelport, for $US4.3b to an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, not only makes us aware of the sheer size of the newly rebranded now former Cendant business, but also recognises Travelport's prominence as one of the world's largest and most geographically dispersed competitors.

These very facts though could potentially throw the global travel industry into further turmoil.
 
Jeff Clarke, Travelport's president and CEO said, “As a private company, Travelport will now have considerably greater financial latitude and firepower to take advantage of burgeoning opportunities in the travel market, adding our unmatched global reach and local expertise, together with our strong management team and unique portfolio of assets, is a great combination for future success in the flourishing travel space”.  

Gordon Bethune, Travelport's Chairman added, “I believe Travelport is poised to become the most relevant global brand in the travel industry, adding whether you're a traveller, travel professional or travel supplier, Travelport will offer more ways for customers to create and enjoy exceptional travel experiences”.

So what is Travelport?

It is described as “an integrated, focused leader in a dynamic $6 trillion industry that processes over 100 million transactions annually” and has over 8,000 employees in 140 countries and owns a portfolio of over 20 leading travel brands including, Orbitz, Galileo, Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA).

Travelport provides access to more than 400 airlines, 75,000 hotels, 28,000 car rental locations and 8,000 tourist attractions, connecting travel suppliers to 52,000 travel agency locations and some of the world's leading online travel sites including Orbitz, CheapTickets and ebookers.

Travelport delivers over 17 million hotel bookings annually, reserves over 10.5 million cars per annum and provides convenient, cost-saving e-ticketing on over 120 airlines.

Travelport also provides hotel inventory management and connectivity solutions provided by TRUST/WizCo and travel business intelligence provided by Shepherd Systems for airlines, travel agencies and travel-related companies.

Consumer retail travel is provided through brands such as Orbitz and CheapTickets in the USA and the ebookers, HotelClub.com, RatesToGo.com, AoYou.com and OctopusTravel.com brands internationally.

This is a clearly a massive sale to investment organisation Blackstone and it will be interesting to watch the story unravel over the coming months.

Report by The Mole

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