Farelogix has found itself with a potential new owner in the shape of Accelya, a leading provider of airline revenue management and logistics technology.
The agreement to buy the U.S.-based Farelogix and its airline commerce and retailing system is subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to be sealed over the course of this summer.
Accelya has pounced to buy Farelogix just six weeks after Sabre pulled out of an existing plan to acquire the company, first announced in November 2018 and for $360 million.
Terms of the new acquisition of Farelogix have not been disclosed.
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Accelya hopes the deal to buy Farelogix will accelerate its vision to provide a "next-generation, end-to-end platform" for its existing and new airline customers.
It currently has a substantial position in airline IT on the revenue management, business intelligence and analytics side of the aviation world, covering both passenger and cargo operations.
Speaking to PhocusWire ahead of the announcement today, Accelya's CEO, John Johnston, says the opportunity to acquire Farelogix came about extremely quickly after Sabre's exit from the original deal.
The company has been targeting an aggressive expansion of its services since a change in ownership in December of last year, when Vista Equity Partners acquired the Spain-based company from Warburg Pincus, he says.
Accelya has a strong role in financial settlement technology for airlines, he explains, but front-office tools such as those provided by Farelogix, as well as crew management, ground handling and maintenance, are gaps that it currently has in the business.
Jim Davidson, CEO at Farelogix, says his own ambition to provide airlines with the ability to sell tickets and retail bundles and ancillaries - all using the New Distribution Capability standard - will be greatly improved with the scale of Accelya's existing relationships with carriers.
Both CEOs deny that the agreement is an escape plan for Farelogix following the demise of the Sabre acquisition.
All Farelogix employees and management team will move with the company and no existing customer partnerships are impacted, Davidson says.
The Sabre deal was supposed help Sabre shape its own quest to modernize airline distribution.
The November 2018 agreement was touted as Sabre's way to "offer the innovative and comprehensive solutions that airlines require."
In August 2019, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition, claiming it would eliminate competition that had "substantially benefited airlines and consumers."
Sabre dug in and went to court. On April 7, a U.S. court decided in favor of the deal, but then, just a few days later, a decision by the U.K.’s Competition & Markets Authority effectively killed the planned acquisition.
Sabre formally pulled the deal on May 1.
Johnson says: "The industry we serve is facing an unprecedented set of challenges requiring increased agility and integration."
The acquisition will "enhance our capability to deliver an integrated offer-to-settlement platform and provide innovative solutions and greater choice for airlines worldwide," he adds.
* Davidson was a recent guest of PhocusWire and Phocuswright's weekly podcast InPhocus, recorded the week after Sabre pulled out of its deal to buy Farelogix. Listen to that interview and get the inside story on the demise of the Sabre deal here.