London, 24th March 2014 – Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading European private equity firm, have reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in car rental technology platform CarTrawler (the “Company”) from the Company’s founders, other individual shareholders and ECI Partners. Insight Venture Partners is co-investing in the business by acquiring a minority stake, whilst the management team will be retaining a significant shareholding. Completion of the deal is subject only to competition clearance formalities. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Based in Dublin, CarTrawler is the leading global provider of multi branded car rental solutions to partners in the travel industry, including airlines, OTAs and other online travel related operators. It has over 1,000 partners, connecting end customers to more than 1,200 suppliers across 30,000 pickup locations. It also operates online car rental sites under the Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands.
BC Partners plan on growing the business through enhancing CarTrawler’s already impressive track record in assisting its partners in the travel industry provide seamless car rental functionality, as well as through expanding CarTrawler’s presence across international markets.
Today’s announcement follows on BC Partners’ successful investment in Amadeus, a leading airline booking technology business in 2005.
Matthew Tooth, Senior Partner at BC Partners, said: "We are very excited to be partnering with the management team at CarTrawler, with a view to fully maximising the company’s growth potential on a global scale. CarTrawler offers a truly unique proposition to its online travel partners, enabling them to optimise the revenue potential from car rental through offering end customers access to an unrivalled breadth of rental options across many suppliers. For suppliers, CarTrawler facilitates access to many distribution channels that would otherwise not be available. CarTrawler’s management team has been truly visionary in building the technology platform and developing its commercial acumen; we look forward to helping them grow the business further."
Nikitas Koutoupes, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners, said: "CarTrawler has been very successful in supporting their partners with proven technology, a broad supplier network, and dedication to customer service. We look forward to working with BC Partners and management to broaden CarTrawler’s market reach and further enhance its reputation as the best in class service provider in the market."
Mike McGearty, CEO of CarTrawler, said: "I am delighted that we have found new partners in BC Partners, given their considerable experience in developing technology and travel related businesses. They have an impressive track record in helping businesses to grow, internationalise and develop to their full potential. We look forward to working closely together with them over the coming years."
BC Partners is a leading private equity firm with advised funds of €12.6 billion ($17.5 billion). Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for 27 years. BC Partners executives operate as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in Europe and North America, acquiring and developing businesses to create value in partnership with management. Since inception, BC Partners has completed 84 investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €88 billion ($122 billion) and is currently investing its ninth fund, which was raised in 2011 with total commitments of €6.7 billion ($9.2 billion).
For more information visit www.bcpartners.com.
Established in 2004, CarTrawler is a leading technology company providing fully managed online car rental solutions to travel partners in 174 countries. Working across all travel industry segments and geographic markets, CarTrawler enables online travel retailers to add car rental to their portfolio of products and services, creating an additional revenue stream that requires no investment on their part. The business is led by CEO Mike McGearty and a highly experienced Executive Team headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
The CarTrawler technology platform enables partners to offer self-branded car rental to their own customers from 1,200 leading and independent car rental agents at over 30,000 city and airport locations worldwide. Multi-lingual customer and IT support is provided by CarTrawler 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to all partners and suppliers operating on the platform.
The global car rental marketplace continues to expand and the latest valuation by Euromonitor estimates its worth at over €44 billion annually. CarTrawler’s own constant growth has been achieved both organically and by acquisition since launching in 2004. The company continues to attract top car rental and travel brands to its platform which sustains this strong cycle of profitability and expansion of its global footprint.
CarTrawler’s portfolio of partners includes some of the world’s leading international airlines, hotel groups and online travel retailers.
More than 50 international airlines offer a combined total of over 300 million airline passengers car rental powered by CarTrawler including; Aer Lingus, Tigerair, West Jet, Volotea, Vueling, Virgin Australia, Transavia, Emirates, Viva Aerobus, Fly Dubai, South African Airways, Finn Air, Malaysian Airlines, Iceland Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Norwegian, Wizz Air, and Gulf Air.
CarTrawler also works with travel software providers Datalex and SITA who resell CarTrawler technology to airlines.
CarTrawler also provides car rental to online lodgings (hotels, rented accommodation and hostels), online travel agents, information websites (media, tourist authorities and airports) travel and transportation (car rental, rail and ferry websites) and retail travel agents including: Starwood Hotels, Webjet.com.au, Hostelworld, Lastminute.com, Villarenters, STA Travel, Skyscanner, Travix, Online Republic, Lowcostholidays.com, The Trainline.com, Via Michelin, Flightnetwork, Travelstart, HolidayExtras, Air Canada Vacations and Flightcentre.
CarTrawler also owns Arguscarhire.com and acquired the online assets of Holiday Autos in 2013.
CarTrawler is committed to investing for the future. The company employs 180 skilled graduates at its Dundrum base and is one of Ireland’s leading technology employers recruiting from third and fourth level university courses in Ireland and internationally.
Andrew Honnor / Matthieu Roussellier
+44 207 952 2000