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
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."