The two companies have had a long-standing partnership, with Sabre already owning a 35% stake in Abacus. The remaining 65% is owned by 11 Asian airlines, but Sabre has now agreed to purchase this outstanding stake for US$411 million.
“The Asia Pacific travel market is the largest and fastest growing in the world,” said Tom Klein, Sabre’s president & CEO. “Acquiring Abacus immediately combines the global capabilities of Sabre with the deep local market expertise of the leading Asia Pacific GDS.
“This powerful combination will give customers even more innovation and service options, while allowing Sabre to accelerate growth globally in a very capital efficient way – and to gain regional synergies in all three of our businesses serving travel agents, airlines and hospitality companies.”
Abacus currently serves more than 100,000 travel agents across 59 markets in the Asia Pacific region, and has relationships with multiple airlines and hotels, including the region’s largest portfolio of low-cost and Chinese airline content.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Sabre has signed new long-term distribution agreements with the 11 airlines that currently own Abacus. These are ANA, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Dragonair, Philippine Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines.
“With our extended network in Asia Pacific, Abacus has built a trusted brand of unique significance and scale. We now have the opportunity to take the business forward even faster, broadening the scope within the Sabre family and with the support of our shareholder carriers,” said Robert Bailey, president & CEO of Abacus. “This is great news for the industry in Asia Pacific, and we look forward to passing the benefits of integration to all sectors of this region’s diverse travel community.”
Following the acquisition, Abacus will operate as a separate region of the Sabre Travel Network. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015.