Done Deal: Private Equity Completes Travelport Acquisition

Travelport's acquisition by a private equity partnership has closed, the global distribution system operator announced Thursday.

In December, the publicly traded travel distribution and IT company agreed to be taken private by Siris Capital Group and Evergreen Coast Capital in a deal valued at $4.4 billion, which included the assumption of debt. Evergreen Coast is an affiliate of activist investor Paul Singer's Elliott Management. Last year, Elliott Management affiliates disclosed an approximately 12 percent stake in Travelport, prompting a strategic review of the company.

"In connection with the closing of the transaction, the company, which will continue to operate as Travelport Worldwide Limited, will be wholly owned by affiliates of Siris and Evergreen, and Travelport's common shares will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange," Travelport stated Thursday.

In conjunction, Travelport announced that John Swainson, a Siris executive partner, has been named executive chairman of Travelport's board. He is a veteran of Computer Associates, now CA Technologies; IBM; and Dell.

Travelport disclosed other new board members, including Greg Conley, former CEO of Travelport predecessor Galileo International, and Hugh Jones, a veteran of Travelport competitor Sabre.

In a prepared statement, Travelport president and CEO Gordon Wilson said: "We have commenced building a great relationship with the Siris and Evergreen teams. We now look forward to working closely alongside them as we continue to develop and invest in our platform to serve the evolving needs of our customers. We are confident that Siris' and Evergreen's support will enable Travelport to execute on its strategy in an exciting new phase of innovation and industry leadership."

Earlier this year, Wilson told employees that, as Travelport remained a publicly listed company, "Siris and Evergreen are restricted as to the information they can share." He noted that further details on Travelport's go-forward plan under Siris and Evergreen would be divulged post-transaction.

"I am sure they will want to take time to build the full picture before they make any major strategy decisions," Wilson told employees in February.

In a memo to Travelport clients Thursday, Wilson added: "While our ownership has changed, our commercial relationship with you will continue as usual. The same people who are working with you today will be working with you tomorrow."

His memo continued: "Whilst we can anticipate some changes under the new owners, these will be very much focused around our existing strategy and investments. We will continue to deliver improved choice, superior travel content and enhanced user experiences with our leading API, mobile and point of sale technology. We also will continue to invest in the speed and quality of our search, shopping, travel management and robotics capabilities whilst facilitating intelligence in both travel and payments."