30 March 2007

Sabre goes Private control passes to TPG and Silver Lake Partners for $5 Billion

So its official - while only 62% voted for it - they represented over 85% of the stock so yes Sabre is now part of Mr Brondeman's empire. Interesting to think that the company is now in the same stable as ... Ryanair! Not to mention other memorable current and former inhabitants of TPG:

America West (Now the NEW US Airways)
Continental Airlines
Gate Gourmet
Burger King

Soon to be joined by Qantas (well that’s a definite maybe) Iberia (that’s a remote possibility- what the heck is he doing – buying all of OneWorld?) , and Harrah’s Casinos not to mention Matsushita (JVC and Panasonic).

We can only assume that they will load up the company with debt and offload it after cashing out their chips and pocketing a bunch of money. The likelihood is that Travelocity will be spun out separately from Sabre thus allowing all 3 of the major online brands to be floating freely AND creating a unique category in the process. (Analysts do love it when industry segments do this sort of thing). I once lamented that this would bring focus on our little corner of the world and this would disrupt the business of people like us at T2Impact. But on the other hand – well welcome chaps this makes for a great ride.



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