Wednesday 17 December 2014

Hellman & Friedman said to eye sale or float of Hostel World

I see from today's newspaper coverage there were a whole bunch of suitors for, the online travel agent that was the icon of the dot com boom and bust in the late 90s/early noughties.

According to the Financial Times, Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, Ctrip, eDreams and Oakley Capital were all keen on Here is a link to the FT piece:

Yet was sold for a fraction of what Sabre Holdings paid for back in 2005. Listed Swiss company Bravofly Rumbo is coughing up just £76 million compared to the £600 million US-based Sabre Holdings paid for

Perhaps these other bidders mentioned by the FT are focussing their attentions on other deals? I hear the owners of Web Reservations International, the company behind and, have been weighing an exit.

According to my sources, US-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman has been talking to investment bankers about a potential sale of Web Reservations. JP Morgan is thought to be the front runner to manage the sale or float of the online hostel booking company.

However, it's not clear how much Dublin-based Web Reservations will be sold for. According to an FT piece from last year - - the company was valued at over $500 million back in 2013.

Bring on the dot com bubble 3.0.

Hellman & Friedman declined to comment.

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