Travelport seeks help with $3.5bn debts

Travelport has reportedly sought help from its banks to ease its debt burden.

The Galileo and Wordspan parent company has asked its lenders for “covenant relief” on its debts of $3.5 billion, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The company, which is controlled by US private equity firm Blackstone Partners, was forced to pull a $3.45 billion London Stock Exchange listing in February.

Travelport had hoped to trim its net debt to $2.3 billion at the time of the planned float. This would have brought its borrowing ratio down to 3.5 times earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (ebitda).

The report suggested that the company’s ebitda, the measure banks use for lending covenants, had been slipping before March 2009.

This was halted but the company’s earnings have only recovered enough to be roughly flat, according to the newspaper.

Travelport souces were quoted as saying that the company’s performance for the half year of 2010 was up 13% on the same period in 2009 when adjusted for currency and non-recurring items.

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