Irish car-hire technology firm to be sold for €450m

Founded by Turley brothers, CarTrawler produces rental software

Car rental car park at Dublin Airport. CarTrawler works with 1,000 partners across 30,000 pick-up locations around the world. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Car rental car park at Dublin Airport. CarTrawler works with 1,000 partners across 30,000 pick-up locations around the world. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Irish technology firm CarTrawler, which produces car-hire software for airlines and travel agencies , is to be  sold for ¤450 million.

European private equity firm BC Partners announced today it is to take a majority stake in the Dublin-based business.

Founded by brothers Niall and Greg Turley in 2004, CarTrawler grew out of a family business Argus Car Hire.

In 2011, the brothers netted up to € 90 million when UK private equity group ECI Partners acquired between 50-100 per cent of the company’s equity.

Given that the brothers are understood to have retained a minority shareholding in the business, today’s announcement means another pay-out for them.

Insight Venture Partners is co-investing in the business by acquiring a minority stake, whilst the management team will be retaining a significant shareholding. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

However, the deal is understood to be worth ¤450 million.

In a statement, ECI Partners said that it would receive a multiple of 6x its initial investment, thus achieving ECI’s biggest exit by value to date.

Mike McGearty, chief executive of CarTrawler, said that he looks forward to “working closely” with BCPartners over the coming years.

According to a statement, BC Partners plan on growing the business through “enhancing CarTrawler’s already impressive track record in assisting its partners in the travel industry provide seamless car rental functionality, as well as through expanding CarTrawler’s presence across international markets”.

Matthew Tooth, senior partner at BC Partners, said he is excited to fully maximise the company’s growth potential.

“ CarTrawler offers a truly unique proposition to its online travel partners, enabling them to optimise the revenue potential from car rental through offering end customers access to an unrivalled breadth of rental options across many suppliers. For suppliers, CarTrawler facilitates access to many distribution channels that would otherwise not be available.

CarTrawler’s management team has been truly visionary in building the technology platform and developing its commercial acumen; we look forward to helping them grow the business further.”