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Online Car Rental Listings Firm CarTrawler Sells Majority For Around $500 Million

Skift Take

Ireland-based CarTrawler is the GDS-of-sorts for the car rental listings industry, and has grown quietly over the years into a very large company. This new exit gives the founder as well as previous investors a big multiple.

— Rafat Ali

Private equity firm BC Partners has agreed to buy a majority stake in Ireland-based online car rental company CarTrawler, it said on Monday. Sky News estimates the deal to be around $500 million.

Private equity firm ECI, which bought CarTrawler in 2011, hired PwC to run a sale process that attracted interest from a number of buyout firms.

BC Partners will acquire a majority stake in CarTrawler, while private equity firm Insight Venture Partners will take a minority stake. Management will also retain a shareholding in the company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Banking sources said the acquisition would be backed with debt financing of around 150 million euros ($207 million) or 5 to 5.25 times CarTrawler’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of approximately 30 million euros.

Debt is expected to be provided in the form of senior leveraged loans by Lloyds and RBC and will be syndicated to other lenders in the coming weeks, the sources added.

Bankers and debt investors will be eager to support the deal after a lack of M&A financing last year.

Dublin-based CarTrawler provides online car rental distribution systems and connects customers to more than 1,200 suppliers across 30,000 pickup locations in 174 countries.

It also operates online car rental sites under the Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands.

($1 = 0.7256 Euros) (Editing by Mark Potter)

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