Amadeus takes big stake in OneTravel.com

PHOENIX—Continuing on its path of strategic moves, which included acquiring travel agency consortia Vacation.com last month, Amadeus, along with Barcelona-based Internet company Terra Lycos, has acquired a 55% equity in travel Web site OneTravel.com.
Amadeus also announced a five year-agreement to be a technology provider for Uniglobe.com and has made a small investment in the online travel provider.
The investment by Amadeus in OneTravel was announced at the PhoCusWright Executive Conference by Amadeus Executive Vice President Philippe Chérèque and OneTravel President and CEO Michael Thomas.
Under a five-year contract, Amadeus will provide GDS products and services to Uniglobe.com. Under the agreement, Amadeus will invest $3 million to be used by Uniglobe.com for its North American operations and marketing activities. The transaction is anticipated to close in early December 2000, subject to final documentation and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.
“Amadeus is committed to online travel and we see Uniglobe.com as an opportunity to increase our stake in this sector,” said David V. Jones, Executive Vice President, Commercial, for Amadeus. “We look forward to collaborating with the Uniglobe organization on other technology products to continue to optimally serve the travel industry and its customer, both online and off-line.”
Amadeus has contended that although it does support brick and mortar agents, it would not rule out partnerships with online agencies. Its investment in OneTravel.com is an example of its online strategy and represents a major investment in an online travel firm.
It also represents a further step in the strategic partnership that Amadeus and OneTravel entered into in April, when Amadeus took a minority interest in the online travel agency. Financial details of this most recent deal were not disclosed and the agreement remains subject to OneTravel.com shareholder approval.
“Increasing our stake in OneTravel.com and strengthening our partnership with Terra Lycos in the US, represents a continuation of our global e-commerce strategy, namely to partner with strong local players,” said Chérèque, who is now a OneTravel.com board member.
Chérèque He says he believes with the backing of the two companies, OneTravel.com is now in a position to further increase its share of the online travel market.
“Amadeus and Terra Lycos are an ideal combination of partners,” said OneTravel.com`s Thomas. “At OneTravel.com, we have developed the right infrastructure and a terrific product. With partners like Amadeus and Terra Lycos we will dramatically increase visibility and market penetration, via global industry relationships, cutting-edge technology and a massive portal player.”
Said Christopher Charlwood, President of Uniglobe.com, “The Uniglobe organization and Amadeus have been longtime partners and this is a continuation of that relationship and the mutual support we enjoy. Amadeus has shown time and again that they are committed to supporting the travel agency distribution channel and this is another example.”
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