The Takeoff Episode 02: How Startups Can Adapt and Pivot Sponsored This content is created collaboratively with one of our sponsors.
It’s hard to see what would make Travelport an attractive investment in 2014 given its indebtedness, net losses and perennial reliance on air transactions despite moves to build up non-air revenue.
If Sabre can do it, then why not Travelport?
Travel tech and global distribution system Travelport Worldwide Ltd. filed a registration statement June 4 for an initial public offering, trying to go public after withdrawing an attempt in London in 2010.
Rival Sabre executed an IPO and raised $627 million in April 2014.
Travelport did not reveal the number of shares to be offered or the price range for such shares, but said net proceeds would be used to pay down debt.
Travelport recorded net losses of $203 million and $292 million in 2013 and 2012, respectively, on revenue of slightly more than $2 billion each year.
Blackstone and Technology Crossover Ventures acquired Travelport from Cendant in 2006, and One Equity Partners bought a piece of Travelport in December of that year.
However, after a restructuring in 2013, Blackstone currently owns only 13% of Travelport. The largest shareholder is Angelo, Gordon and Co. (22%), followed by Q Investments (14%).
Travelport controlled Orbitz Worldwide until recent months, but has recently been selling its shares, and currently owns 37% of the online travel company.
Travelport’s main business is providing distribution services to some 400 airlines, as well as corporate and leisure travel agencies, and this business line accounted for 76% of revenue in 2013.
Since 2012, Travelport says it has embarked on a five-year plan to transform the business from a traditional, air-centric global distribution system into a “next generation travel commerce marketplace.”
In that regard, the company says it increased its Beyond Air business — hotels, car rentals, rail and cruise etc. — 14% year over year in 2013. In 2013, Beyond Air accounted for 18% of Travelport’s business.