Owner of airline services firm Accelya taps banks to launch sale, say sources: Reuters

The private equity owner of European airlines services firm Accelya has hired advisers to sell the business that provides cost management solutions to the likes of British Airways and American Airlines, three sources familiar with the matter said.

They said French mid-market buyout firm Chequers Capital is working with BNP Paribas and Evercore on finding a new owner for Accelya, which was founded in 2007 and has annual revenues of $120 million.

Officials at Chequers Capital and Evercore were not immediately available for comment, while BNP Paribas declined to comment.

The sale will address a limited number of potential bidders, one of the sources said, after previous sale attempts by Chequers Capital were aborted around two years ago due to lacklustre interest.

Based in Barcelona, Accelya says it helps over 200 airlines streamline their costs, providing anything from accounting, audit, billing and revenue recovery services.

It employs more than 2,000 people in nine countries and could be valued at less than 10 times its annual core earnings of about $55 million, one of the sources said.

Buyout firm Warburg Pincus, which owns Dubai-based travel services firm Mercator, may be interested in making an offer, one of the sources said.

A spokeswoman for Warburg Pincus declined to comment.

Accelya controls an Indian listed subsidiary, Accelya Kale Solutions (AKSL.NS), which was acquired in 2010 and specializes in providing software solutions to the airline and travel industry globally.

Paris-based Chequers Capital is one of the oldest private equity houses in France. Established in 1972, it invests in companies with an enterprise value of between 50 million and 500 million euros.

Chequers raised an 850-million-euro fund in 2011, exceeding its initial 800-million fundraising target.