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CarTrawler announces investment from TowerBrook to strengthen platform and accelerate future growth

Dublin, Ireland, 19th May 2020: 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.

About CarTrawler

CarTrawler is the leading B2B provider of car rental and mobility solutions to the global travel industry. We bring opportunities to life through an online marketplace connecting our partners, customers and mobility suppliers. CarTrawler’s end-to-end technology platform expands our airline and travel partners’ offering to their customers, creating substantial ancillary revenue opportunities. We provide unrivalled breadth and depth of content worldwide, including car rental, private airport transfer and ride-hailing services.

CarTrawler creates innovative, data-led solutions for some of the largest travel brands in the world, including American Express, Alaska Airlines, easyJet, Hotels.com, KLM, TravelStart and Emirates. As a B2B company we focus solely on helping our airline and travel partners build their brands, not our own. CarTrawler was established in 2004, our headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in New York and Melbourne.

About TowerBrook

TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. is an investment management firm with in excess of $13.4 billion under management and a history of creating value for investors. The firm is co-headquartered in New York and London and focuses on making investments in companies headquartered in North America and Europe. TowerBrook’s private equity strategy primarily pursues control-oriented investments in large and mid-market companies, principally on a proprietary basis and often in situations characterised by complexity. TowerBrook’s structured opportunities strategy allows access to a broad array of opportunities, principally via structured asset and structured equity investments, enabling investment companies to access funding and expertise to support growth without ceding control. TowerBrook is a certified B Corporation. B Corporation certification is administered by the non-profit B Lab organisation and is awarded to companies that demonstrate leadership in their commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and responsible business practices.

Media Contacts

TowerBrook

Gill Ackers / Harry McHugh

Brunswick Group LLP

Phone: +44 20 7404 5959

Email: towerbrookcapital@brunswickgroup.com

CarTrawler

Jack Hickey

Powerscourt Group

Phone: +353 83 448 8339

Email: jack.hickey@powerscourt-group.com