Gulf Capital Said to Hire BofA to Weigh Destinations Site Sale

  • Destinations of the World may be valued at up to $500 million
  • Sale of online reservations firm may kick off early next year

Gulf Capital, the Abu Dhabi-based alternative asset manager, is considering the sale of online travel reservations company Destinations of the World amid consolidation in the industry, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company has hired Bank of America Corp. to advise on a potential auction, which may draw bids from other travel companies as well as buyout firms, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The sale could kick off as soon as early next year and value Destinations of the World at as much as $500 million, one of the people said.

Representatives for Gulf Capital and Bank of America didn’t have an immediate comment.

Founded in Dubai in 1993, Destinations of the World helps connect travel agents, tour operators and other customers to more than 130,000 hotels and apartments worldwide, according to its website. Gulf Capital acquired a 57.5 percent stake in the company as part of a management buyout in November 2014.

Deals involving travel services companies have doubled in the last 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. TUI AG agreed to sell its Hotelbeds online-reservations unit to buyout firm Cinven Ltd. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for 1.19 billion euros ($1.26 billion) in April. Ocean Management Ltd. offered to take Chinese travel site Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd. private this year in a deal valued at about $4.4 billion.

— With assistance by Matthew Martin

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