Holiday Autos’ new owner CarTrawler is being geared up for a potential sale that could value the business at more than £150 million.
Sky News reported that ECI Partners, the investment firm which owns a controlling stake in the Dublin-based provider of online car rental distribution systems, is lining up investment bankers to advise on an auction.
However, it is possible that ECI, which declined to comment on the story, will decide against a sale if its valuation expectations are not met by prospective buyers.
CarTrawler announced the acquisition of the online assets of Holiday Autos last month, buying them from Travelocity Global, the immediate parent company of Lastminute.com. The trade business and operations of Holiday Autos were not included in the deal.
That purchase reunited ECI with Holiday Autos, which it had involvement for several years before the business was sold for £43 million to Lastminute while it was a publicly-listed company in 2003.
CarTrawler has mapped out aggressive global expansion plans following investment from ECI Partners in 2011. The private equity firm took a 50% stake in the company in a deal valued at up to £44 million.
CarTrawler, which has become a popular platform for companies to rent cars online, has annual bookings of around 5 million vehicles, and sales of more than £425 million.