MONTREAL, October 27
Transat A.T. Inc. today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its French subsidiary Anyway www.anyway.com) to IAC/InterActiveCorp for an enterprise value of (euro) 53 million (CAD$81.6 million). The sale is expected to close by October 31, 2003. Anyway will join IAC Travel, a division of IAC/InterActiveCorp that encompasses leading online travel brands including Expedia.com, Interval International, TV Travel Shop, Hotels.com and Hotwire.com.
The full year gross bookings for Anyway are estimated to be approximately (euro) 80 million (CAD$123.2 million). Anyway is the third largest online travel site in France. It was created in 1988 as a discount travel agency and expanded into online Minitel services in 1995 and into Internet services in 1999. Anyway is headquartered in Paris and employs more than 100 people.
Next to the U.K., France represents the largest online travel market in Europe. By 2005, French online sales are expected to jump 263% to (euro) 6.9 billion (CAD$10.6 billion), according to travel research firm PhoCusWright.'As the leading seller of discount air travel and one of the fastest growing online travel sites in France, Anyway is a compelling addition to the IAC Travel portfolio,' said Simon Breakwell, managing director of Expedia's European operations. 'Anyway gives us access to the best air net fares in France and provides a tremendous opportunity to create synergies with other IAC Travel businesses, such as cross selling discount air, merchant hotels and cars and destination services. With the acquisition of Anyway, IAC Travel will be the best positioned to provide the most comprehensive and compelling travel offering to French travelers.
'IAC Travel is already a leader in European travel: Expedia, Inc. operates branded websites in the UK, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands, all of which occupy leading positions, in addition to Voyages-SNCF.com, the successful joint venture with the SNCF in France. IAC also operates TV Travel Shop, the UK's leading television seller of travel, as well as country-specific versions of Hotels.com in the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Canada.
'Transat A.T. Inc. is a Canadian-based, global travel industry leader with whom we see tremendous opportunities for future collaboration,' said Stuart MacDonald, managing director of Expedia Canada Corp., operator of Expedia.ca. 'We are thrilled to welcome Anyway to the IAC Travel portfolio.
''The sale of Anyway is in line with Transat's stated strategy,' said Jean- Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat A.T. Inc. 'This transaction will be beneficial to all parties. Under its new ownership, Anyway and its employees will continue to thrive. As for Transat, we will continue to focus on our core activities in France -- tour-operating -- and continue the development of our brands, which include the well-known Look Voyages and Vacances Air Transat (France).'
About Transat A.T. Inc.
Transat A.T. Inc., one of the leading leisure companies in the world and the leader in Canada, with its head office in Montreal, is an integrated company specializing in the organization, marketing and distribution of holiday travel. The core of its business is in Canada and France. Transat is also involved in air transportation, value-added services offered at travel destinations and distribution through travel agency networks. Transat is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:TRZ).
IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq:IACI), formerly USA Interactive, consists of IAC Travel, a division of the company that encompasses Expedia, Inc., which oversees Interval International, TV Travel Shop, Hotels.com and Hotwire.com. IAC has entered into an agreement to acquire Hotwire, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2003, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The other operating businesses of IAC are: HSN; Ticketmaster, which oversees Evite and ReserveAmerica; Match.com, which oversees uDate.com; Entertainment Publications; Citysearch; Precision Response Corporation; and LendingTree. The goal of IAC is to be the world's largest and most profitable interactive commerce company by pursuing a multi-brand strategy.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the Corporation. These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. The Corporation considers the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable, but cautions the reader that these assumptions regarding future events, many of which are beyond its control, may ultimately prove to be incorrect since they are subject to risks and uncertainties that affect the Corporation.
For additional information with respect to these and other factors, see the Annual Information Form and Annual Report (Management Discussion and Analysis) filed with Canadian securities commissions. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.