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The history of private equity's involvement in online travel is brief and mostly undistinguished. Orbitz and Travelocity have each lost market share since their parent companies underwent LBOs. Expedia's experience with IAC/InterActiveCorp's Internet roll-up strategy was scarcely happier, as one of the best initial-public offering stocks of the late-90s boom lost momentum and shed key executives following the 2003 takeover.
That said, it's hard to muster much enthusiasm for the Feb. 9 news that Amadeus IT Holdings will sell its Opodo European travel agency to private equity firms for an enterprise value of €450 million.