Sabre Corporation will play a waiting game in the coming days following an announcement that it intends to close its acquisition of Farelogix on August 21.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which has been scrutinizing the transaction, has been informed of the intent and can seek to block the transaction by filing a complaint in federal court before the above date.
Sabre initially announced its acquisition of Farelogix for $360 million last November.
The distribution giant has faced various hurdles since including the D.O.J. review and a similar investigation by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority.
Sean Menke, Sabre’s president and chief executive, said in its second-quarter 2019 earnings release that the company was continuing to tout the benefits to regulatory bodies as well as airline chiefs.
In a statement issued this week, the company says it is confident of “the legal and competitive merits of the acquisition and that the acquisition will ultimately be completed.”
Menke goes on to say:
“Over the past nine months, we believe we have done all we can to address the D.O.J.’s concerns. While we hope the D.O.J. will ultimately recognize that this transaction is pro-competitive, we are prepared to vigorously defend the deal in court if necessary.”
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The statement also expresses Sabre’s commitment to keep Farelogix products at the same price or lower as well as to offer “existing Sabre GDS and Farelogix Open Connect contract on the same terms, including price, for a period of at least three years.”
The company says it does not believe litigation is appropriate but that the parties have extended the termination date of the acquisition agreement until the end of April 2020 to allow for any challenge from the D.O.J. to be resolved.
In the U.K., the CMA has issued an Initial Enforcement Order which enables Sabre and Farelogix to close the transaction while the regulatory body finishes its review.
The deadline for the CMA to announce the result of the first phase of its review is August 16. It may then decide to begin a second phase.