US$500m for web reservations

The owners of Dublin-based Web Reservations International have netted almost US$500m from the sale of the company to San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

Hellman & Friedman bought the reservation company for US$340m in cash but WRI’s shareholders have already received US$150m in payouts in the past few years.

According to the Irish Business Post the biggest individual beneficiary of the deal was company co-founder and former chief executive Ray Nolan, who is believed to have made more than US$100m.

The majority (80%) is owned by management, staff and original backers. US VC firm Summit Partners owned the remainder.

Founded in 1999 by Nolan, WRI is an online booking service for hostels. It sold €350m worth of accommodation last year, generating revenues of €38m.