Texas Pacific, Silver Lake get travel deal go-ahead(2)

The two private equity firms have received the anti-trust clearance to pursue their $5bn acquisition of Sabre Holdings, the owner of Travelocity.

Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners are free to pursue their joint acquisition of Sabre Holdings, a Texas-based travel company, following the expiration of the waiting period required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The waiting period passed without a request for more information regarding the deal, Sabre said in a statement.

Texas Pacific and Silver Lake agreed to buy Sabre for $32.75 per share in December.  The total value of the transaction is about $5 billion, which is 30 percent more than Sabre’s average closing price for the 60 trading days that ended on December 8, Sabre said in a separate statement issued at the time of the announcement.

Sabre’s management team will most likely remain in place. The company will also maintain its base in Southlake, Texas.

Sabre’s companies include consumer-direct travel service provider Travelocity, travel products and services marketer Sabre Travel Network and airline software products and consulting services provider Sabre Airline Solutions. The company has operations in 45 countries. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TSG.

Texas Pacific has invested in the travel industry before. It was a prior shareholder in travel website Hotwire.com, which was sold to IAC for $665 million in September of 2003. It has also invested in the airlines America West and Continental. The firm’s proposed acquisition of the Australian airline Qantas, announced in December, came into question earlier this month when heavy trading in the airline’s stock suggested that some investors were not confident with the deal. Texas Pacific has also emerged as a potential bidder for the Italian airline Alitalia this month.

Menlo Park, California-based Silver Lake specialises in technology investments. The firm bought IPC Information Systems, a provider of mission critical communications and services, from GS Capital Partners for $800 million in September.