Travel marketing and distribution company Sabre Holdings Corp.
Sabre said it would buy all outstanding shares of GetThere common stock at
$17.75 per share. GetThere closed Friday at $12.125, so the deal results in a
premium of about $5.60 per share.
The job cuts, Sabre said, are “designed to position the company for increased
growth and profitability.” Sabre said that the company-wide program supports
an effort launched several months ago “to improve efficiencies and flatten
the organization,” thereby increasing speed and agility.
The jobs will be shed through a combination of attrition and layoffs, and is
expected to bring annual savings of $100 million beginning in 2001, the
company said. Some published reports indicated Sabre would take a
layoff-related charge of about $20 million in the third quarter in
conjunction with the downsizing. The company has about 10,500 employees now.
The acquisition will bring together two of the top players in the online
business-to- business corporate travel channel and the business-to-consumer
e-commerce channel for airlines, travel suppliers and travel agencies.
The plan is to combine GetThere with the Sabre Business Travel Solutions (BTS)
unit to create a dominant online travel platform for corporations and
leading-edge technologies, innovative services and content and a roster of
blue-chip customers, Sabre said.
The new Sabre company will operate under the GetThere name and will be based
in Menlo Park, CA, where GetThere is located now. Gadi Maier, current
GetThere chairman, president and CEO, will be president of the combined
“Together, we will bring expanded benefits to customers, suppliers and
shareholders. Our combined technology and expertise will enable us to offer
the broadest range of
services and content, and to create enhanced revenue- generating
opportunities in a rapidly changing marketplace.” said William J. Hannigan,
chairman, president and
chief executive officer of Sabre.
The acquisition will bring together an extensive list of customers, including
Boeing, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Citicorp, Dell, General Electric, Lucent,
Nike and Nortel. Airline customers of the joint operation will include United
Airlines, America West, US Airways and Swissair, and retailers such as
American Express, Cheap Tickets and Travelocity.com.
The combined businesses will have estimated 2000 revenues of approximately
$50 million, Sabre said, adding that it expects the deal will be neutral to
Earlier this month Sabre acquired Gradient Solutions Ltd, a Dublin, Ireland
based technology company that provides e-commerce solutions to the global
travel marketplace. In June, the company took a 51 percent stake in Dillon
Communications Systems, a supplier of electronic travel distribution in
Earlier this year the company merged Preview Travel and Travelocity.com.