Ctrip, Blackstone said to mull bids for Swedish OTA Etraveli
Ctrip, China's biggest trip-booking website, is among suitors weighing bids for German media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE’s Sweden-based online travel unit, according to a Bloomberg report.
Buyout firms including Blackstone Group are also considering offers for ProSiebenSat.1’s Etraveli AB unit. The business could fetch as much as 500 million euros (USD 544 million) in a sale.
ProSiebenSat.1 is reviewing its online travel business and is getting “broad interest” from a mix of financial and strategic investors, CEO Thomas Ebeling said on a call with reporters Thursday. It’s in the middle of a process that it hopes 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 euros.
Ctrip, which has a market value of about USD 28 billion, bought U.K. travel search site Skyscanner last year for 1.4 billion pounds (USD 1.8 billion).
That deal followed an earlier agreement by Ctrip to invest in Indian peer MakeMyTrip and its 2015 purchase of a controlling stake in Travelfusion, a U.K. low-cost carrier aggregator. Ctrip had net cash and cash equivalents of about USD 5 billion at the end of March, according to its latest earnings report.
Etraveli has been growing at a double-digit rate per year, and leading travel businesses like Priceline Group Inc. and Expedia Inc. have materially re-rated since it was bought.
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