CNG buys US hotel booking site for US$12.5m in cash

19 Aug 2004

Kerry-based online travel technology business CNG has completed the acquisition of US hotel booking website PlacesToStay – including more than 140 URLs – for a total cash consideration of US$12.5m.

It is understood that the acquisition has been funded through an upfront payment of US$12m, with a further deferred payment of US$500k following an transitional period of three months.

PlacesToStay (PTS) is a leading consumer travel web site for finding and booking hotels, inns and resorts worldwide, and features the largest portfolio of independent properties anywhere online. PTS is available in seven languages, including German, English, French and Spanish, and provides extensive search and sort criteria so travellers can find the right hotel for their needs.

PTS currently represents more than 5,000 destinations and 8,000 independent hotels in 140 countries, and this reach will be further enhanced by the addition of CNG’s portfolio of hotels.

In the financial year 2003, PTS generated 243,000 reservations which had Total Travel Value of US$49.7m and yielded a gross margin of US$4.9m before costs in the financial year.

In addition, PTS, through its ongoing relationship with WorldRes, has access to an inventory of approximately 8,000 ‘independent’ hotels, increasing CNG’s existing hotel inventory by 50pc to over 24,000 hotels. CNG will also have the right to distribute these hotels across its other distribution channels.

The acquisition has been funded existing CNG funds and supported by debt finance. Finbarr Power, chief executive of CNG, commented: “PTS is a leading online hotel brand in the leisure sector and is an excellent first acquisition for CNG following our flotation this summer. Upon completion of the acquisition, PTS will be integrated immediately, creating for CNG an ideally balanced business between the corporate and leisure travel markets”.

By John Kennedy