Amadeus: second loan to deliver further innovation in travel
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s long-term financing institution, has granted a second loan for Amadeus IT Group, S.A., subsidiary of Amadeus IT Holding S.A. (Amadeus: “AMS.MC”), a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, with the latter acting as the guarantor of the transaction.
The unsecured loan of €150 million has a nine year maturity. It will be used by Amadeus to finance research and development (R&D) activities in its Distribution business line between 2013 and 2015.
This loan is in addition to a previous €200 million loan received by Amadeus from the EIB in May last year, which had a nine year maturity and was made available to finance the R&D of a variety of projects in the IT Solutions business line between 2012 and 2014.
The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by its member states. The EIB Group will significantly step up its lending activities for the 2013 to 2015 period to support the recovery of growth in Europe. Following the Member States’ 2012 decision to increase the EIB’s capital, the EIB will lend an additional €60 billion over the next three years to promote sustainable growth and jobs, bringing annual lending volumes to €65-70 billion. One such goal is to promote the implementation of the knowledge economy, such as education, R&D and innovation.
Continued investment in innovative travel technology solutions is central to the Amadeus ethos. Approximately €2.4 billion was invested in R&D between 2004 and 2012, with €414 million invested in 2012 alone, representing 14.2% of revenues. Amadeus has sixteen R&D centres globally, currently housing over 4,500 people, and many of these are European based, including the central R&D centre in Nice, plus London, Antwerp, Aachen, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, and Warsaw.
Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, Vice-President, European Investment Bank says:
“This development loan to Amadeus follows on the success of the previous loan, announced in May last year. Again this is in line with our objective of making long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. Amadeus’ pedigree in developing successful IT solutions and commitment to innovating in the travel industry is unquestionable. We are confident this helps to fulfill the objective of ensuring that Europe’s knowledge economy remains world-beating.”
Luis Maroto, President & CEO, Amadeus comments:
“We are deeply proud to be able to announce, for the second time and within less than a year, that Amadeus has received funding from the prestigious European Investment Bank. We consider this the highest form of recognition for our long-standing commitment to developing innovative customer-focused solutions. The €150 million will be invested in the development of our Distribution business line; it will allow us to continue to revolutionise travel reservation systems for both travel intermediaries and for travel providers, such as airlines, hotels, and railways.”
In recent years Amadeus’ R&D efforts have been particularly focused on: extremely high performance transaction processing under stringent system availability and dependability requirements; information mining from very large data-bases; super-responsive travel search engines; multi-channel customer servicing applications (agent desktop, web, kiosk, mobile, tablets); or pioneering the use of open systems, among many others.
Previous examples of Amadeus’ successful approach to R&D include the development of the Amadeus Altéa Suite, a community-based airline IT platform that consists of three modules covering reservation, inventory management and departure control – which is currently used by 110 airlines, including some of the world's leading airlines, and last year processed 563 million Passengers Boarded (PB).
Further proof of Amadeus’ status as a leader in R&D was confirmed late in 2012 when it once again maintained its sector rankings as one of the leading companies in Europe for investment in R&D by the European Commission (EC). The 2012 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, an annual report published by the EC, examined the largest 1,000 European companies investing in R&D during 2011 and ranked them according to the total amount invested. Amadeus gained a number one ranking in the area of travel and tourism.