Irish software firm CarTrawler could be set for third sale in €694m deal

23 May 2017

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Irish software company CarTrawler could be sold for close to €700m, with a number of investment firms eyeing it up.

CarTrawler has proven itself as one of Ireland’s biggest indigenous software success stories, as a company that provides software for airlines and travel companies offering car hire services.

Employing 550 people in its offices in Dublin, CarTrawler works with big names including Emirates, Ryanair and Hertz.

While also owning and operating the Cabforce, Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands, CarTrawler has additional offices in Boston, London and Helsinki.

This has made it an attractive package for potential buyers and now, for the third time, the company is expected to be sold for a nine-figure sum.

The Irish Times has reported that the firm’s current owner, BC Partners, has put a value of £600m (€694m) for prospective buyers, of which there are a few candidates.

This includes a number of private equity groups, such as KKR and Advent International, but its founders, Greg and Niall Turley, are expected to lose out on a significant windfall if a deal goes through at this price.

In 2011, the pair sold 75pc of CarTrawler to previous owner ECI Partners for a sum of €80m, which subsequently sold its stake to BC Partners in a deal believed to be worth €450m. Because of this, the Turley brothers will now miss out on the potential massive payout.

New senior adviser

Earlier this month, CarTrawler announced the appointment of Mark Schwab, former chief executive of Star Alliance, as its senior adviser.

Speaking of the appointment, company CEO Mike McGearty said: “Mark’s appointment to CarTrawler brings an abundance of experience that will prove invaluable to CarTrawler and our future expansion.

“We are looking forward to Mark joining CarTrawler as senior adviser and supporting the leadership team with insightful guidance, as the business continues to grow and enhance the ancillary earning capability of our partners.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic