CTRIP AMONG SUIT­ORS FOR ETRAVELI

Buy­out firms in­clud­ing Black­stone also con­sid­er­ing of­fers for ProSiebenSat.1 unit

New Straits Times - - Business / World -

CTRIP.COM In­ter­na­tional Ltd, the big­gest Chi­nese trip-book­ing web­site, is among suit­ors weigh­ing bids for Ger­man me­dia gi­ant ProSiebenSat.1 Me­dia SE’s on­line travel busi­ness, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

Buy­out firms in­clud­ing Black­stone Group LP were also con­sid­er­ing of­fers for ProSiebenSat.1’s Etraveli AB unit, they said.

The Swe­den-based busi­ness could fetch as much as €500 mil­lion (RM2.37 bil­lion) in a sale, ac­cord­ing to one of the peo­ple.

ProSiebenSat.1 was re­view­ing its on­line travel busi­ness and was get­ting “broad in­ter­est” from a mix of fi­nan­cial and strate­gic in­vestors, said chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Thomas Ebel­ing.

It was in the mid­dle of a process that it hoped to com­plete in the com­ing months, ac­cord­ing to Ebel­ing.

Etraveli, which op­er­ates in 46 coun­tries, pro­vides air­line tick­ets and ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion un­der brands in­clud­ing Go­to­gate, Su­per­saver and Trav­el­start.

ProSiebenSat.1 agreed to buy Etraveli in 2015 in a deal valu­ing the Swedish on­line travel agency at about €235 mil­lion.

A sale of Etraveli would add to re­cent deals in the travel in­dus­try, in­clud­ing KKR & Co’s pur­chase of ad­ven­ture-travel spe­cial­ist Trav­elopia from TUI AG.

Ctrip, which has a mar­ket value of about US$28 bil­lion (RM121.8 bil­lion), bought the United King­dom travel search site Skyscan­ner Ltd last year for £1.4 bil­lion (RM7.83 bil­lion).

Ctrip had net cash and cash equiv­a­lents of about US$5 bil­lion at the end of March, ac­cord­ing to its lat­est earn­ings re­port. Bloomberg

BLOOMBERG PIC

Ger­man me­dia gi­ant ProSiebenSat.1’s may get as much as €500 mil­lion from the sale of its on­line travel busi­ness Etraveli, say sources.

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