Travelport floatation tests market conditions

Travelport has revealed more details of its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange valuing the business at between £1.9bn and £2.2bn.

The floatation, the first major UK listing in two years is being viewed as an indicator of how the market has improved and will make millionaires of the management team.

The travel services group - which is about 70 per cent-owned by Blackstone, the US private equity investor - announced its plans for an initial public offering of shares last month. It aims to raise £1.1bn by floating on the main market of the London Exchange and will use the money to pay back debt.

Net debt will be reduced from $4.1bn to $2.3bn, while cutting the existing shareholders’ stakes by more than half. Existing investors could sell some shares if there is demand for a follow-on offering of up to $226m.

Travelport owns the Galileo computerised travel reservations system and the group said yesterday that Galileo had won a multi-year contract with the UK operations of Thomas Cook, the tour operator. Travelport added that the two organisations were “discussing further opportunities to extend their relationship outside of the UK”.

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As well as Galileo, Travelport also owns the Worldspan reservations system and wholesale hotel, travel and tour operator Gullivers Travel Associates.

Travelport is 70 per cent owned by Blackstone. It, along with its fellow private equity shareholders will sell between 51 per cent and 58 per cent of the company. The Singapore sovereign wealth fund, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has agreed to pay $225 million for a 7.19 per cent stake.