Private Equity Firms Sell Amadeus Stake

October 19, 2011

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The two private equity funds that turned around and relisted Spain-based travel and tourism firm Amadeus have sold their remaining stakes in the company and raised EUR€386 million (USD$533 million).

Barclays Capital said on Wednesday that it had placed 6.84 percent of Amadeus on behalf of BC Partners and Cinven at 12.60 euros per share, a 4.2 percent discount to the stock's closing price on Tuesday.

"The shares are likely to be depressed on the news for a day or two but (will) recover fairly quickly. Amadeus's business is still solid, and its other shareholders don't have the gearing needs that will require them to sell their stakes now," a Madrid-based trader said.

Amadeus's principal remaining shareholders are three of its founding airlines, Air France-KLM, IAG and Lufthansa.

Some analysts have speculated that Air France could sell down its 16 percent stake to bring it in line with IAG's and Lufthansa's holdings, which stand at just under 8 percent.

The travel bookings company, which Cinven and BC Partners took control of in 2005, is one of the risk capital group's biggest success stories, and their exit from the shareholding was largely expected.

The London-based private equity funds last cut their stakes in Amadeus to 3.42 percent each in July when they sold a combined 9.16 percent of the company.