eDreams, the Spanish online travel giant, has changed private equity hands once again. In a deal reportedly worth €250-300 million, the UK’s Permira has acquired a majority share in the site from its previous owner US private equity firm TA Associates.
TA paid €153 million for the company in 2006 from its original VC backers, which included Apax Partners, Atlas Venture, BSCH, Doll Capital Management (DCM), Net Partners and 3I. While Permira is said to be on the lookout for other, smaller online travel startups in Europe.
eDreams, which launched in 1999 and is headquartered in Barcelona and has offices in Spain and Italy, operates localised versions of its site in 14 other markets, including the UK, France, Canada and Brazil. Across its properties in Southern Europe it says it see 250,000 visits daily, while in March 2003, eDreams purchased the Italian company www.travelonline.it, becoming Italy’s number-one online travel agency, according to the company.