$5bn Sabre acquisition deal signed


SABRE Holdings, Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group (TPG) announced that they had signed a definitive agreement to acquire acquire Sabre Holdings for $32.75 per share in cash.

The transaction is valued at around $5 billion, including the assumption of around $550 million in net debt. The price represents a premium of 30 per cent over the Sabre Holdings average closing share price during the 60 trading days ended December 8. 
The board of directors of Sabre Holdings approved the definitive merger agreement and recommended its approval by stockholders. The closing of the transaction is expected by the second quarter of 2007. 
Meanwhile, Sabre Travel Network has launched a product aimed at helping hotels and travel agencies manage hotel booking commissions more effectively. The new web-based product is called Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager and was developed in conjunction with Seville-based Worldwide Payment Systems (WPS).
The Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager will be available to hotel operators around the world and will give them a new ability to track commission payments to travel agencies on a global scale, while enabling agencies to track, manage and – where necessary – claim commissions easily and efficiently.
The lack of an industry-wide standard has so far prevented technology providers from developing products to do this effectively.  By teaming with Sabre Travel Network to develop this product and make it available to more than 76,000 hotels and the huge worldwide network of travel agencies that use the Sabre GDS (global distribution system), WPS believes it will generate the impetus and scale to make this product the global commission management solution of choice.
“Managing commissions and dealing with payment enquiries has been one of the biggest booking bug-bears facing both travel agencies and hotel operators,” said Richard Adams, Sabre Travel Network’s senior vice-president for the EMEA region. “By providing this solution we hope to ease the situation for all concerned, stimulate travel agencies to boost the number of hotel bookings they make in the GDS, and so make Sabre a preferred distribution method for hotel operators.”