Sabre Holdings, the global distribution system that created Travelocity, the online travel company in the mid-1990s, has bought back the 30% of the company it did not own.

Travelocity merged with Preview Travel, a smaller online travel company in March 2000, and became a publicly traded company in which Sabre retained a 70% stake. In February, Sabre said it would offer $345 million, or $23 a share, to purchase Travelocity's publicly traded shares. That offer that was initially rejected and raised in March to $490 million. The transaction was completed in April, and Travelocity now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sabre.

The deal also led to the departure of Terrell Jones, Travelocity's chief executive and founder. He was succeeded by Sam Gilliland, Travelocity's executive vice-president.

Henry Harteveldt, analyst at Forrester Research, says Gilliland must improve the travel offers it creates and marks up, an area where Expedia has a clear lead.

Source: Airline Business