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Sabre Reportedly Close to Buyout

Monday, 11 Dec 2006 | 12:59 PM ET

Travel-booking company Sabre Holdings is close to being sold to a group of private equity investors for more than $4 billion, the New York Times reported (Play-By-Play: Conditions Right For More Merger Mania).

The owner of Web-travel company Travelocity.com could be sold as early as tomorrow, the paper said.

A group including Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group is favored to win the auction for Sabre over a team led by Apollo Group, the Times reported.

Sabre was the first to use computers for airlines reservations and became an important go-between for travel agents, hotels and airlines, said The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the news of a possible deal. But demand for its services plunged after the dot-com boom, with travelers booking their own travel online.

Last week, Travelport, the owner of Orbitz.com and CheapTickets.com agreed to be purchased by electronic ticketing and reservations company Worldspan.

Sabre was spun off from AMR , the parent of American Airlines, in 2000.

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