Travelport Buys Sprice.com

Travelport, a provider of global distribution system, has acquired Sprice.com, a Singapore-based hotel and travel search engine. No financial terms were disclosed. Travelport is a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, while Sprice.com had raised VC funding from Sofinnova Partners and Walden International.

PRESS RELEASE

Travelport, one of the world’s leading global distribution system (GDS) providers, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Singapore-based Sprice Pte. Ltd., which owns and operates hotel and travel search engine Sprice.com (http://www.sprice.com). Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

As a consequence of the deal, Travelport will significantly expand its hospitality offering by providing Galileo and Worldspan-connected agents with access to Sprice’s portfolio of over 240,000 international hotel properties, as well as a comprehensive suite of hotel reviews, merchandising options and comparison tools.  Travelport will also utilise Sprice’s proven search technology to enhance its GDS channels, enabling the company to deliver and distribute richer, more diverse supplier content to its subscriber customers.

“With Sprice, Travelport has acquired firstly, a highly innovative proven technology platform that is deeply synergistic to our GDS business, enabling us to deliver and distribute more content and secondly, an established and vibrant inventory of hotel options and comparison tools that will significantly add to our existing hospitality portfolio,” said Gordon Wilson, deputy CEO, Travelport and president and CEO, Travelport GDS.  “Along with these significant assets comes the intellectual capital of the Sprice team, a group of very bright and talented executives who we are pleased to have join our company.”

The Sprice acquisition supports Travelport’s strategy to rapidly expand the availability of hospitality content for its travel agency customers. Through this acquisition, Travelport expects to deliver a much broader range of hotel options to its travel agency customers, supported by comparison features, as well as providing the technology platform for new content such as, for example, parking, events and attractions and dining.

Founded in June 2006 Sprice offers consumers broad access to unique content in Europe and Asia and provides travel operators with a low-cost, efficient distribution channel for their services.

Sprice’s expertise, relationships, technology platform and market presence especially in Europe and Asia, all fit well with Travelport’s vision for the delivery of industry-leading hospitality content.  Leveraging Sprice’s technology assets, Travelport expects to accelerate the availability of a broader range of hospitality content within Travelport’s Universal Desktop, enabled via the Universal API, which is slated for commercial delivery beginning in the second half of this year.  In doing so, Travelport creates opportunities for those travel suppliers who would not normally consider participation in the GDS channel, making their inventory available to GDS-connected agents.

As a result of this acquisition, Travelport expects to be able to extend the range of options available to agents, suppliers and their mutual customers.  Beyond Travelport’s existing channels, Sprice’s current direct to consumer offering provides Travelport with valuable insight into traveler shopping and booking behaviors.

“We are excited to be joining Travelport,” said Sprice co-founder and CEO Jerome Thil. “Bringing together Sprice’s meta search technology and Travelport’s powerful GDS transaction processing capabilities creates great synergy and the potential for new development and innovation, charting an exciting new path forward for us.”  

Sprice is headquartered in Singapore and has an office in Strasbourg, France.  All eighteen Sprice employees have been extended offers of employment at Travelport.   Sprice will be managed under the recently announced Consumer and New Ventures group within Travelport.

Sprice was previously backed by two leading venture capital firms, Sofinnova Partners and Walden International.  Quilvest Banque Privee advised the sellers on the transaction.

Olivier Sichel, a partner at Sofinnova Partners said, “Since 2006, Sofinnova has supported the Sprice team in its development as a company and we are very pleased that Sprice technology is recognized by such a prestigious group as Travelport.”

Travel companies interested in learning more about opportunities to partner with Sprice, please contact: partner@sprice.com.

About Travelport

Travelport is a broad-based business services company and a leading provider of critical transaction processing solutions to companies operating in the global travel industry. Travelport is comprised of the global distribution system (GDS) business that includes the Worldspan and Galileo brands; GTA, a leading global, multi-channel provider of hotel and ground services; Airline IT Solutions, which hosts mission critical applications and provides business and data analysis solutions for major airlines. With 2009 revenues of $2.2 billion, Travelport operates in 160 countries and has approximately 5,400 employees.

Travelport also owns approximately 48% of Orbitz Worldwide ( OWW), a leading global online travel company. Travelport is a private company owned by The Blackstone Group, One Equity Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures and Travelport management.

For more information, please visit www.travelport.com

About Sprice.com

Sprice.com (http://www.sprice.com), the leading real-time travel search engine in the world, allows travelers to search for cheap flights, find and compare over 120,000 hotels with hotel reviews, and get the best travel deals. Sprice.com is a product of Sprice Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-registered company. Sprice operates in Europe through its office in France, while the head office in Singapore serves the markets in the Asia-Pacific. Sprice.com offers detailed information on over 120,000 hotels around the world, hotel reviews and cheap flights.