Irish firm CarTrawler snaps up online assets of Holiday Autos

19 Jun 2013

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Mike McGearty, CEO, CarTrawler

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CarTrawler, the Irish-based online car rental platform, has its sights set on extending its global reach as the company has acquired the online assets of the car rental broker Holiday Autos. CarTrawler is now eying up 2.5m pro forma booking volumes per annum and gross sales of €500m, according to CEO Mike McGearty.

Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but it is understood that CarTrawler has purchased the online assets of Holiday Autos and not the brand’s operations.

Set up in 1987, Holiday Autos is owned by Travelocity Global and the car hire brand has a presence in more than 5,000 locations around the world.

The online assets that CarTrawler has acquired include the Holiday Autos brand, Holiday Autos URLs and domain names and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) commercial agreements.

Under a separate agreement, CarTrawler will become the exclusive provider of car rentals to the travel deals site Lastminute.com, which is also part of Travelocity Global.

Set up in 2004

Brothers Greg and Niall Turley founded CarTrawler in 2004. The company was spawned from a family business called Argus Car Hire.

CarTrawler connect airlines, hotel groups and online travel brands in real-time to car rental agents in 174 countries.

In 2011, the UK private equity firm ECI Partners invested in CarTrawler, reportedly taking a 50pc stake in the company. Founders Greg and Niall Turley moved to non-executive positions on CarTrawler’s board of directors.

CarTrawler remains headquartered in Dundrum, Co Dublin, where it employs 155 people.

Global reach

Following the acquisition of Holiday Autos, CarTrawler expects to have gross sales of €500m.

"The acquisition of these online assets will drive CarTrawler’s growth through diversification and increased scale and will deepen our geographic footprint," said CEO Mike McGearty.

He said the acquisition will complement CarTrawler’s existing aviation, travel, hospitality, leisure and consumer channels.

"Our strategy is to realise the strong economic potential of the Holiday Autos assets through the platform," added McGearty.

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Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com