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Threatened by giants like TripAdvisor, Genstar is likely looking for a buyer who can add TravelClick to an existing brand in order to better compete.
Genstar Capital LLC is exploring a sale of TravelClick Inc, a provider of online reservation systems to the hotel industry that could be valued at more than $800 million, according to four people familiar with the matter.
San Francisco-based private equity firm Genstar has asked Evercore Partners Inc to run an auction.
The sources asked not be identified because the sale process is confidential. Genstar declined to comment while spokespeople for TravelClick and Evercore had no immediate comment.
Founded in 1999, New York City-based TravelClick provides technology for guest reservations and website development to more than 36,000 hotel clients in over 160 countries, according to its website. The company generated revenues of $257 million in 2012, according to Moody’s Investors Service Inc.
TravelClick’s internet booking engine is facing increasing competition from travel websites such as TripAdvisor Inc., which are developing their own interfaces that allow for direct booking of hotel rooms.
Genstar acquired TravelClick in December 2007 for an undisclosed amount from private equity firm Bain Capital LLC and TravelClick co-founders Richard Gray and Ray Cohen. Bain’s venture capital arm made a new investment in TravelClick at the time, taking a minority stake.
Last week, Sabre Corp, the owner of online travel agency Travelocity and a competitor of TravelClick in software applications to the hotel industry, filed for an initial public offering. Sabre was taken private in 2007 by private equity firms TPG Capital LP and Silver Lake for $5 billion, including debt.