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Sabre Files For IPO, Reveals Years of Financial Losses


Jan 21, 2014 8:23 am

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A Sabre IPO has been long anticipated as it has shed assets, off-loaded Travelocity North America operations, trimmed staff levels and brought in new management in anticipation of going public.

— Dennis Schaal

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World Travel & Tourism Council  / Flickr.com

Sabre last year appointed Tom Klein as its new CEO in anticipation of an IPO. In the photo, Klein speaks at a World Travel & Tourism Council event in April 2013. World Travel & Tourism Council / Flickr.com

After seven years as a privately held company, Sabre, the GDS/technology company that is Travelocity’s parent, filed its long-anticipated IPO registration statement.

The company, owned by Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners, did not reveal the number of shares it intends to sell or the price range for the proposed offering.

The S-1 statement is the first glimpse the public has been able to take at Sabre’s financial results for years.

It reveals that for the first nine months of 2013, Sabre recorded a net loss of $154.5 million, which was greater than the $131.4 million it was in the red in the first nine months of 2012. Revenue during the first nine months of 2013 was $2.34 billion, an increase of less than 1%.

In fact, the paperwork indicates that Sabre has been piling up losses every year since 2008.

Based in Southlake, Texas, Sabre provides distribution services for airlines and hotels to travel agencies, also offers airline and hotel IT services, and has consumer-facing sites in Travelocity and LastMinute.com. It employs around 10,000 people in some 60 countries.

Sabre’s global distribution business, which connects travel suppliers such as airlines and hotels with travel agencies, is the largest of its three business segements.

In the nine months that ended September 30, 2013, Sabre’s global distribution business contributed 57% of revenue while airline/hospitality solutions and Travelocity chipped in 22% each.

Now that Travelocity and Expedia have begun implementation of their strategic marketing agreement, Travelocity’s contribution to Sabre’s total revenue is expected to dramatically decline.

In its S-1 statement, Sabre says it intends to use the net proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.

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