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eTravCo Recapitalized, Signs with AmadeusAugust 4, 2009 By: George Dooley
eTravCo, Inc., who lays claim to being the third largest travel agent consortium in the U.S., reports it has signed a five-year contract with Amadeus for use of its GDS system and has completed a first round of recapitalization. Founded in 2001 and based in State College, PA, eTravCo said the recapitalization was through private placement of a newly created issue of Preferred Series D stock to a group of institutional and individual investors.
eTravCo reports sales of $3.3 billion in sales, 970 agency members and 2,910 agent members in 41 states and 60 plus national vendors. It operates a series of destination-based, travel booking websites under its Town Travel brand, and a discount travel website under its BookAirlineTickets.com brand.
eTravCo also said it completed the conversion of $675,000 in convertible notes to a newly created issue of Preferred Series C stock, the extension of its $1 million senior secured credit facility, and a successful settlement with its largest creditor group, NBPA, Inc. The company also announced the appointment of Blair Caple as CEO and reaffirmed D. Brent Pasquinelli, eTravCo’s founder, as president of its Consortia Group.
“Over the past year and a half, eTravCo has faced significant challenges including the death of CEO William Misunas, and the global downturn in the economy,” said Caple. “We’ve now taken significant measures to reduce our overhead, restructure our balance sheet and drive the company toward long-term profitability. As we focus on growing our membership and promoting them more effectively through our innovative websites, we expect to attract additional capital to help drive us forward.
“We started this recapitalization process in November knowing that it would be difficult in the midst of a global financial crisis,” Caple continued, whose turnaround firm, Kaaterskil Management, was engaged on the project. “We believe the resulting structure is in the best interests of all our stakeholders. It brings together contributions from our Board of Directors, leading shareholders, a critical creditor group, the senior management team, and key lenders and vendors to infuse new funds and rework existing terms to enable eTravCo to move forward in a sustainable fashion."
”eTravCo is re-energized with a renewed commitment to provide superior services to our consortium members,” said Pasquinelli. “Our list of members continues to grow and our relationship with Amadeus positions us well to become an industry leader. In the next few weeks, we will be introducing a range of new member benefits including health insurance and errors and omissions insurance.”