Travelport IPO priced at top of range, raising $480 mln-Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. airline ticketing company Travelport Worldwide Ltd priced its initial public offering at $16 per share, the top end of the expected range, valuing the Blackstone Group LP -backed company at $1.9 billion.

Travelport is offering all the 30 million shares in the IPO, raising $480 million.

Travelport, which links airlines and hotel chains with travel agencies and other ticket buyers, competes with travel distributors such as Abacus and Amadeus, and business travel booking sites such as eTravel and Egencia.

Blackstone and Technology Crossover Ventures bought the company for $4.3 billion from conglomerate Cendant in 2006.

Travelport, which has about a 37 percent stake in online travel company Orbitz Worldwide Inc, scrapped its plans to list in London in 2010, citing poor market conditions.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based company said it intended to use the proceeds from the offering to repay debt, which was about $3.4 billion as of March 31.

Travelport shares are expected to start trading under the symbol “TVPT” on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley, UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities are among the underwriters for the offering.