CarTrawler sold to BC and Insight Partners

30/04/2014
Read Time: 2 Min

ECI Partners has sold CarTrawler, the global online car rental platform, to BC Partners and Insight Venture Partners, receiving a multiple of 6x its initial investment and achieving ECI’s biggest exit by value to date.

Based in Dublin, CarTrawler is the leading global provider of multi branded car rental solutions to partners in the travel industry, including airlines, OTAs and other online travel related operators. It has over 1,000 partners, connecting end customers to more than 1,200 suppliers across 30,000 pickup locations. It also operates online car rental sites under the Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands.

Following the investment in May 2011, the ECI Team assisted the company in attracting additional management talent, expanding its international footprint and streamlining internal commercial processes and systems. CarTrawler’s revenues and profits trebled and headcount doubled as the company expanded into new international markets. In June 2013, the ECI Team supported CarTrawler’s acquisition of Holiday Autos, another former ECI investment, to strengthen the company’s position in the direct to consumer channel.

“We are delighted to announce today the sale of CarTrawler to BC Partners. The deal represents a landmark transaction for ECI, and adds to our strong track record in supporting high growth online businesses

“We have enjoyed a very strong and successful partnership with CarTrawler and the company’s exceptional management team. Since 2011 the business has achieved a huge amount with ECI’s support and is now a leading, global technology company and a market leader in the online car rental space.”

Chris Watt

Partner and head of ECI’s Consumer sector team

“CarTrawler has a highly talented and motivated management team who have created significant value for the exiting stakeholders. I have been incredibly proud to be the Chairman of this outstanding business for the past three years and wish all the team at CarTrawler every success as they continue to execute their exciting future growth strategy with BC Partners and Insight Ventures”

Richard Prosser 

The Chairman of CarTrawler

“ECI has played an important role in CarTrawler’s success, providing us with financial backing and practical support from their Commercial Team, helping us to grow our business and accelerate its global expansion. We look forward to working with BC as we continue to grow the business internationally.”

Mike McGearty 

CarTrawler CEO

CarTrawler marks ECI’s 5th exit in the last 12 months and is the first exit from ECI 9. Recent exits include Bargain Booze (4.5x exit multiple), Clinisys (2.5x) and Ascribe (2.1x). Other recent transactions from ECI include investments in employment law specialist Citation, escorted rail travel company Great Rail Journeys, online theatre ticket company Encore, and most recently online insurance specialist Avantia.

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