Amadeus Shareholders Sell Stock As GDS Evaluates Opodo Sale - Business Travel News

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Amadeus Shareholders Sell Stock As GDS Evaluates Opodo Sale

October 15, 2010 - 11:45 AM ET

By Amon Cohen

Air France/KLM became the largest shareholder in Amadeus last week after two private equity companies each sold off a 4.4 percent stake in the Madrid-listed travel technology company. BC Partners and Cinven each sold 19.5 million shares at €13.50, well above the €11 at which Amadeus returned to the stock market in April.

Both investors grossed €263 million and saw their stakes in Amadeus reduced to 13 percent each. Air France/KLM now holds the most shares with 15.2 percent, while Lufthansa owns 7.6 percent. Iberia sold a 1.5 percent shareholding in the company at the same time as BC Partners and Cinven, which originally bought into Amadeus through a leveraged buyout in 2005.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Amadeus said it is "exploring and evaluating strategic alternatives" regarding the future of its online travel agency Opodo. There has been strong speculation in recent weeks that Google is interested in buying Opodo, but Amadeus said it has not yet made any decisions.

Last month, Ian Wheeler, Amadeus vice president marketing and distribution, told BTN and other publications that Amadeus is not interested in becoming a travel agency. "I can say with absolute confidence that we will not be verticalizing the Amadeus business," he said. "We own Opodo but have said many times that's not a core business."

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