Southlake-based Sabre Corp. has agreed to sell its travel booking site Travelocity to Expedia for $280 million in cash.
Sabre said the move will allow it to focus more on its back-end software systems for selling airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals. Sabre is one of three global distribution system companies, along with Travelport and Amadeus, that handle sales for travel agencies and online booking sites like Expedia.
“We have had a long and fruitful partnership with Expedia, most recently by partnering to strengthen the Travelocity business, so our decision to divest Travelocity is a logical next step for us both,” said Tom Klein, Sabre’s president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.
Travelocity has about 50 employees in Southlake, where Sabre employs between 2,500 and 3,000 people, the company said.
In August 2013, Sabre entered into a long-term marketing agreement with Expedia to handle the technology platform behind the Travelocity website and give it access to Expedia’s supply and customer service platforms. Travelocity.com is known for its traveling gnome, used in advertisements.
Expedia, based in Bellevue, Wash., already owns nearly a dozen travel sites including Hotels.com, Hotwire and Egencia, the world’s fifth-largest corporate travel management company.
“Travelocity is one of the most recognized travel brands in North America, offering thousands of travel destinations to more than 20 million travelers per month,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia’s president and chief executive officer.
Sabre shares (ticker: SABR) gained 23 cents to close at $20.71 and Expedia (ticker: EXPE) moved up $1.73 a share, or 2 percent, to $87.44.
Competitor Orbitz Worldwide saw its stock price spike earlier this week on reports it is considering selling itself. The other big travel booking is the Priceline Group, which owns sites like Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak and OpenTable.
While those companies dominate the travel market — and are taking advantage of quickly-growing markets in developing countries — they are facing new pressures at home from more-innovative sites like airfare search Hipmunk and last-minute deal site HotelTonight.
The article includes material from The Associated Press.