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Buoyant Amadeus IPO defies Spanish debt fears

Buoyant Amadeus IPO defies Spanish debt fears

Madrid-based Amadeus, the world’s largest travel reservations company, has defied the current fears over Spain’s debt mountain by raising €1.32bn in Europe’s biggest initial public offering in two years.

Shares opened at €11.88, above the IPO price of €11 and €11.25 to €10.5 trading range set by the technology giant.

Amadeus Chief Executive Officer David Jones said in a ceremony at Madrid’s stock exchange that he was very satisfied with the demand for the IPO and confident about the company’s future stock performance.

The group – founded by Air France, Lufthansa, SAA and Iberia in 1987 and taken private in 2005 by UK private equity groups BC Partners and Cinven – has an enterprise value of approximately €8.4bn, including €3bn of net debt, based on the current share price.

In February, a planned London IPO for Amadeus’s US rival Travelport was postponed by its private equity owners Blackstone. However there are growing signs that Blackstone and other buy-out firms are poised to appetite for IPOs in the UK, as long as the stock market remains buoyant after next week’s general election and the turmoil surrounding Greek debt subsides.


Blackstone may also revive plans for an IPO by Merlin Entertainment, the theme park giant which it owns.

Amadeus is the biggest IPO in Spain since Iberdrola spun off its renewable energy business in late 2007.

The group controls 37 per cent of global airline bookings and provides IT services to the travel sector.