Travelport helps people with their journeys, whether it be by land, air, or sea. Through its primary Global Distribution Systems (GDS) division, the firm operates electronic reservation platforms Worldspan and Galileo and travel agency service provider THOR. GDS connects travel agencies, websites, and corporations with travel suppliers worldwide. Air carriers are served by Travelport Airline IT Solutions, which offers high-tech business tools and services. The travel conglomerate serves travel agencies, corporate travel departments, and owns about 48% of online travel company Orbitz Worldwide. Investment giant The Blackstone Group owns a controlling stake in Travelport.
Atlanta-based Travelport has sales, service, and support offices in more than 40 countries and the scope of its business extends to some 170 countries across The America, the Asia-Pacific Region, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Nearly 40% of the company's revenue originates in the Americas.
Transaction processing its Travelport's largest source of revenue, accounting for more than 90% in 2012. The company's Airline IT Solutions unit brings in the rest. Travelport is a partner in eNett, a leading provider of payment services for the travel industry.
Travelport reported sales in excess of $2 billion in 2012, a 2% decline compared with 2011. The decrease was due to falling revenue at its Airline IT Solutions business, offset by a rise in transaction processing revenue. Airline IT Solutions' loss of the Master Service Agreement with United Airlines hurt results.
Blackstone's financial clout has helped Travelport to expand its operations and made it easier for the company to act on investment opportunities. The business is looking to emerging markets, including Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Asia/Pacific regions, for growth, opening new offices and beefing up distributor relationships and agreements in those areas. To this end, in 2013 Travelport opened of a new distributor operation in Tunisia, extending its reach it Africa where its GDS operates in 47 countries. Travelport also added a new location in Vladivostok, Russia, adding to its operations in Moscow and St. Peterburgh. Russia, with its growing demand for travel, is a key growth market for the firm.
To fund its expansion and pay down billions in debt Travelport and its private equity owners have looked to the public market. Indeed, Travelport considered floating about $1.7 billion in shares on the London Stock Exchange, but pulled back from the IPO in 2010 because of weak investor interest and volatile markets. (Travelport is no stranger to using IPOs for debt repayment -- the company raised cash for just that purpose in 2007 with an IPO of a minority stake in Orbitz.) In 2012 the company said going public is still an option as Blackstone may be looking to exit its 2006 investment.
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestments
Travelport exited its Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA) unit that focused on lodging and ground travel services via the GTA, OctopusTravel.com, TravelCube, and TravelBound brands. When Travelport sold off GTA to Kuoni Holding AG for about $705 million in 2011, the company shifted its focus to its core GDS business.
Travelport's owners include The Blackstone Group, which acquired the business in 2006 from Cendant (now Avis Budget Group) for $4.3 billion. Blackstone holds a 41% stake in Travelport. One Equity Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures also own stake in the company.