At this stage, we're not exactly sure why eDreams Odigeo might interest Skyscanner/Ctrip. A private equity buyer would seem much more likely.
eDreams Odiego has had a tough couple of years since its stock market floatation in 2014 and it now looks as though its time as a public company might be about to come to an end.
Reports in the UK press suggest there are a number of private equity companies interested in the business, while a well-placed source told Skift that the a merger or acquisition looks likely within weeks.
The Sunday Times reported a sale price for eDreams Odigeo of $703 million (£500 million), a figure well below its $1.5 billion valuation at the time of the IPO.
The report also listed metasearch site Skyscanner and its Chinese owner Ctrip as a potential bidder, but Skift understands they aren’t interested.
A private equity buyer might give eDream Odigeo the bandwidth to fix up the business without the glare of quarterly earnings calls. A buyer might also decide to sell off different parts of the business to maximize value.
eDreams Odigeo suspended trading its shares in October 2014 after British Airways and Iberia pulled the sale of its fares from three of its websites. Changes that Google made to its algorithm, and a UK airline regulator’s investigation also adversely impacted the business.
eDreams Odigeo initiated a strategic review of the business late last year after receiving “unsolicited indications of interest from potential investors.”
According to research firm CreditSights, eDreams Odigeo is the number one online travel agency for flights in Europe with a 27 percent market share.
eDreams Odigeo and Skyscanner declined to comment.
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Photo Credit: Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams Odigeo. A number of companies are reportedly interested in buying the business. eDreams Odigeo