Merger of major Europe OTAs Opodo, Go Voyages, eDreams

EUROPE Private equity firms Axa and Permira have agreed to acquire UK-based online travel agency Opodo from Amadeus and will merge it with two rival OTAs.

Following completion of the £424 million acquisition, Opodo will join France’s Go Voyages and Spain’s eDreams to create a Europe OTA network to rival the region’s dominant online travel distributors U.S.-based Expedia and Orbitz.

Axa and Permira were, until recently, fierce rivals in the online distribution space. Axa beat out Permira in acquiring Go Voyages, while Permira won the war for eDreams.

Air France, Iberia and Lufthansa still own minority stakes in Opodo.