As Investor Seeks To Unlock Value At Travelport, Analysts Wonder How

The news that an activist investor took a stake in Travelport to push a possible sale of the company has analysts, consultants and industry leaders speculating about the possibilities. Could the GDS be broken up and sold to its two Western rivals? What about keeping it whole and selling to China-based TravelSky? Is there a wild-card buyer out there, like Amazon?

Paul . . .

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Author: Jay Campbell

Jay Campbell in 2004 created travel business newsletter The Beat, in 2006 co-founded Travel Procurement magazine and in 2010 integrated them with Business Travel News. He served as editorial director until 2013. Jay made his travel industry media debut in 1993 at the Air Travel Journal of Boston while earning his undergraduate degree in journalism at Boston University.

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David Bishop
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David Bishop

If this has legs, then you only have to look at what Elliott management did with Citrix (spinning off Goto Meetings) to feel something similar could happen with Travelport. Whilst ENett is the obvious one, you could look at this like the oil industry and separate upstream (airline systems, content aggregation and NDC) from downstream (TMC and leisure distribution). I feel you’d get a far quicker pace of innovation from downstream without it being in the shadow of its higher return partner… interesting one to watch. Maybe Bill Ackman will get involved as well to make it really interesting!

Martin Warner
Advisor
Martin Warner

The sector needs a shake up and a wake up. I fear it may be too late for shareholder value to be realized in any way other than a breakup. Some parts have great value — eNett, Digital etc. Watch the Chinese on this one …

Chris Engle
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Chris Engle

Cowen Co’s suggestion that taking TVPT private would allow the company to take a longer-term view of investing in the business is ludicrous. Travelport has done a great job over the past five years digging out of the crushing debt and lack of investment capabilities heaped on it by previous go-private investors, and there isn’t a single example in travel of a go-private transaction that didn’t saddle the target company with insane debt loads and liquidity issues. TVPT has cobbled together a great strategy around eNett, beyond air growth and progressive air merchandising initiatives. I can see why they’d be… Read more »