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Huge New York Company Buys European Travel Giants Octopus and Gullivers Travel

Cendant Corporation recenlty announced that it has agreed to acquire privately held, UK-based Gullivers Travel Associates, the trading name of Donvand Ltd., and Octopus Travel Group Ltd. (together: “Gullivers”) for approximately $1.1 billion in cash.

Gullivers Travel Associates is a leading wholesaler of hotels, destination services, travel packages and group tours, and (“Octopus”) is a global online provider of lodging and destination services, selling directly to consumers as well as through third party affiliate and primarily low cost airlines.

The companies source all of their travel and services inventory directly from suppliers in 25 countries, and operate as a merchandiser of travel and tourism land-based content for groups and individuals.

Gullivers, founded in 1975, offers unique tour and packaged travel content to tour operators, travel agents and consumers in 23 languages and employs approximately 2,400 people.

Its largest outbound market from which its customers purchase travel is Asia, and most significantly Japan as well as Hong Kong and China. Its principal destination markets are the major European countries; however, it sells products and services in over 100 countries.

Octopus has been operating since 2000 and offers negotiated hotel offerings at over 21,400 properties worldwide. Octopus also provides a variety of in-destination services, with over one million contracted activities available online to customers and consumers worldwide. Chairman and CEO of the Cendant Travel Distribution Services Division, Samuel L. Katz said: “With Gullivers we have the opportunity to accelerate the growth of an already profitable business in some of the fastest growing travel markets worldwide.”

Cendant Corporation is primarily a provider of travel and residential real estate services. With approximately 90,000 employees, New York City-based Cendant provides these services to businesses and consumers in over 100 countries. Cendant is one of the world’s largest hotel franchisors (mostly U.S. hotel chains), the world’s largest vacation ownership organization (RCI), and one of the world’s largest car rental operators (including Avis, Budget), and leading providers of travel information processing services worldwide (including Galileo and Orbitz).

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