Skift Take

When it comes to potential IPOs, timing is everything in life, right? Hotelbeds seemingly thinks so.

Hotelbeds, which had planned on an IPO in Spain this summer, has reportedly delayed those ambitions until the tail end of 2024 or early next year.

Private equity firm Cinven and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, the two main owners of Hotelbeds, sought to delay the market debut in hopes of a higher valuation given their strong outlook for the business, according to published reports in CincoDias and Hosteltur.

An IPO this summer may have generated a $4 billion valuation for Hotelbeds, the reports stated, and the bet is it will be higher down the road.

Hotelbeds declined to comment on the timing of an IPO.

Hotelbeds’ Role in the Travel Industry

If you buy a vacation package from a tour operator, travel agency or airline, there’s a chance Hotelbeds supplied the hotel portion of that airline-hotel combo.

The company is a key global player in the travel industry as it supplies wholesale hotel rooms to tour operators, travel agencies — online and offline — and airlines covering around 2,000 destinations.

“Valuation wise there is still a lot of uncertainty in the market,” said Morgann Lesné, a partner at Paris-based Cambon Partners, which provides mergers and acquisitions advisory services. “Expedia is trading at an abnormally low multiple, and the coming IPO of TBO (Travel Boutique Online) in India will give a good indication of how these businesses are perceived.”

As of the end of 2023, Hotelbeds reportedly notched 369 million euros in EBITDA on total transaction volume of 8.4 billion euros.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Hotelbeds was valued in a range of 10-15x EBITDA,” Lesné said. “As they seem, based on these latest rumors, to be targeting a listing at the end of this year, the 2024 numbers should be taken as the reference point.”

Hotelbeds’ fiscal year ends September 30. According to Spanish market rules, the company would have until mid-February to go public based on the end of the Hotelbeds fiscal year.


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Tags: hotelbeds, IPOs, online travel, online travel newsletter, private equity, spain, tour operators, travel tech, vacation packages

Photo credit: A view of Hotelbeds' headquarters in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Source: Wikimedia/Hotelbeds

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