Opodo in a potential MBO

Wed, 24 Nov 2010

Travel firm Opodo could be purchased in a management buyout deal after reports of discussions taking place between the directors came to light.

Chief executive Ignacio Martos, who would lead the MBO team, has met with potential lenders recently after holding a presentation of the business.

It is also understood that banks are shortly to send a notification of intent to back the buyout deal to the management.

The Spanish owner Amadeus is seeking to sell its online flights and travel agency and brought in JP Morgan in recent weeks to assess Opodo’s options, to include a sale for around £400 million.

Other interested parties may include Axa Private Equity owned Go Voyages, who has appointed Credit Suisse and HSBC to advise, Google, rival online travel firm Expedia and private equity firm Permira.

Representing only 4 per cent of Amadeus’ total turnover, Opodo is the smallest of its three businesses. Global Distribution Services brings in 70 per cent of Amadeus’ revenues, while Altea represents about 25 per cent.

Opodo’s sales are mainly derived from airline ticket fees, and totalled 53.7 million euros for the first six months of the year, an increase of 5.8 per cent from the previous year.

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