CarTrawler acquired by TowerBrook in deal worth more than €100m

19 May 2020569 Views

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Car rental and mobility company CarTrawler has sold a controlling stake to investment firm TowerBrook in a deal worth more than €100m.

Following news that it was to enter debt restructuring talks as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on the car rental and travel industries, CarTrawler is now set to be taken over by investment firm TowerBrook.

TowerBrook has made a controlling equity investment of more than €100m. The Irish Times reported that the deal will also see €120m of debt and €25m of revolving credit facility from banks undergo a significant writedown.

Founded in 2004 and employing around 425 people, CarTrawler develops software for airlines and travel companies offering car hire services. Now, it hopes the takeover will help see the business through a significant downturn in the travel industry.

“This investment will allow CarTrawler to come out of this period of unprecedented disruption with a stronger platform for growth,” said Cormac Barry, CEO of CarTrawler.

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“Like many companies in the travel sector, we have experienced material trading impacts as a result of the Covid-19 but the crisis will pass, and this deal will allow us to further enhance our proposition to our partners and our suppliers. TowerBrook is an ideal partner for CarTrawler as our objectives are closely aligned, and their deep operational experience and strong network will enable CarTrawler to not only return to previous growth levels but further expand and scale our business.”

‘More relevant post-Covid-19 than before’

Gordon Holmes, managing director and chief investment officer of TowerBrook, said CarTrawler “provides a valuable service to the travel industry”.

“The lockdown measures implemented in response to Covid-19 have presented enormous challenges, even for well-managed and attractively positioned companies like CarTrawler,” he added.

“However, the company’s value proposition is, if anything, even more relevant post-Covid-19 than before.”

The possibility of a deal taking place was first revealed earlier this month as CarTrawler was attempting to secure emergency financing. In December 2019, the company had announced a four-year deal with EasyJet that would provide car rental software to the airline.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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