CarTrawler, the leading B2B provider of car rental and mobility solutions to the global travel industry, has today announced a controlling equity investment in excess of €100m from TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (“TowerBrook”), an international investment management firm. This investment will help drive CarTrawler’s next stage of growth, as the Company strengthens its balance sheet during this period of unprecedented disruption to the global travel market and prepares to benefit from the easing of travel restrictions.
CarTrawler’s established market position, international footprint and sophisticated data capabilities allow it to play an important role for airlines and other travel partners, as well as car rental firms, in enhancing their customers’ experience and driving revenues. While the travel sector faces a period of acute pressure due to COVID-19, CarTrawler’s broad offer and range of business partners position it well to benefit when demand recovers.
Cormac Barry, CEO of CarTrawler, said: “This investment will allow CarTrawler to come out of this period of unprecedented disruption with a stronger platform for growth. CarTrawler is a world-class travel technology player, with an exceptional workforce, tremendous intellectual property and strong relationships with our partners and suppliers. CarTrawler is integral to the car rental and mobility industry, creating a mutually beneficial network effect that drives significant value for all and this is why partners such as American Express, Alaska Airlines, easyJet, Hotels.com, KLM, TravelStart and Emirates choose to maintain long-term partnerships with CarTrawler. Like many companies in the travel sector, we have experienced material trading impacts as a result of the Covid-19 but the crisis will pass, and this deal will allow us to further enhance our proposition to our partners and our suppliers. TowerBrook is an ideal partner for CarTrawler as our objectives are closely aligned and their deep operational experience and strong network will enable CarTrawler to not only return to previous growth levels but further expand and scale our business”
Gordon Holmes, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of TowerBrook, said: “We welcome the opportunity to support a business that employs hundreds of people and provides a valuable service to the travel industry. The lockdown measures implemented in response to COVID-19 have presented enormous challenges, even for well managed and attractively positioned companies like CarTrawler. However, the Company’s value proposition is, if anything, even more relevant post-COVID 19 than before. CarTrawler’s management, breadth of relationships and positioning provide an excellent platform to serve its customers and achieve its long-term growth ambitions as the travel market recovers.”
PJT Partners acted as financial advisor to CarTrawler. Kirkland & Ellis, McCann FitzGerald, Liberty Corporate Finance, PwC and EY provided additional advice to the Company and Management. Matheson and Sidley Austin provided legal advice to TowerBrook, and Morgan Stanley acted as their financial advisers. Alvarez & Marsal and Boston Consulting Group provided additional guidance.