Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading technology provider to the travel industry, announced today that it has informed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which has been performing a lengthy and exhaustive review of the transaction, of its intent to close the deal on August 21, 2019.
Under the terms of its timing agreement with Sabre, if the DOJ decides to seek to block the transaction prior to the expected closing date, it must file its complaint in federal court before August 21. Sabre is confident in the legal and competitive merits of the acquisition and that the transaction will ultimately be completed.
“We are incredibly excited to close our acquisition of Farelogix so that airlines, travel agents, corporations, and travelers can benefit from the end-to-end next-generation retailing solutions we will be able to deliver. This deal will allow us to provide our airline and agency customers with more and better choices, all while we continue to offer and invest in Farelogix’s current suite of products and services,” said Sean Menke, President and CEO of Sabre. “Over the past nine months, we believe we have done all we can to address the DOJ’s concerns. While we hope the DOJ will ultimately recognize that this transaction is pro-competitive, we are prepared to vigorously defend the deal in court if necessary.”
Since announcing the proposed transaction last November, Sabre has been working closely with the DOJ to demonstrate to them the unquestionable value of the transaction to its airline and agency customers, consumers, and the travel ecosystem. As a combined company, Sabre and Farelogix will drive faster innovation in the dynamic, highly competitive airline technology space, helping airlines accelerate their growth and profitability while better serving travelers. Sabre believes the transaction will bring needed scale and investment to Farelogix and enable Sabre to accelerate the delivery of the industry’s first end-to-end NDC-enabled solution for the retailing, distribution and fulfillment of travel.
Sabre has committed to its airline customers and to the DOJ that after the transaction it will continue to offer Farelogix products at the same prices available today or lower, and to support and invest in those products at the same level or higher. In addition, Sabre has committed to offer to extend any existing Sabre GDS or Farelogix Open Connect contract on the same terms, including price, for a period of at least three years.
While Sabre and Farelogix do not believe that litigation is appropriate in this matter, they have extended the termination date of their acquisition agreement to April 30, 2020, allowing time for any challenge by the DOJ to be resolved.
In the UK, the transaction is being reviewed by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has issued an Initial Enforcement Order (IEO), which is a standard procedural step that allows Sabre and Farelogix to close the transaction while preserving the CMA’s ability to conclude its review of the deal before the companies are integrated. The IEO does not constitute a finding related to any effect of the transaction on competition. The statutory deadline for the CMA to announce the outcome of its Phase 1 review of the transaction is August 16, 2019, after which it may elect to initiate a Phase 2 review.
Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than $120 billion of estimated travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.