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Spain’s Amadeus to sell Opodo to Axa, Permira

Spanish travel group Amadeus said Wednesday it had agreed to sell its online travel agent Opodo to buyout firms Permira and Axa Private Equity for around 450 million euros ($620 million).

The price “represents a multiplication by 11.7″ of Opoda’s Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) for the year 2010,” Amadeus said in a statement to Spain’s stock market regulator.

It said the deal included agreements under which Amadeus will provide travel technology services for the Opodo, eDreams and GoVoyages websites for 10 years.

eDreams is owned by Permira while GoVoyages is held by Axa Private Equity.

Internet giant Google and private equity firm the Carlyle Group have been mentioned in the Spanish press as possible buyers.

The deal must still be approved by the competition authorities.

Amadeus has controlled Opodo since 2004 but no longer considers it a core business.

Opodo, whose name is an abbreviation of “opportunity to do,” is the smallest of Amadeus’ three units.

The company operates in nine countries. Its main markets are Britain, France, Germany and the Nordic countries.