Sabre on Wednesday said it intends to close its acquisition of Farelogix on Aug. 21, and that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) wants to block it, the department would have to file a complaint in federal court before that date.

In a release, Sabre called the DOJ's review of its planned acquisition "lengthy and exhaustive."

"Sabre is confident in the legal and competitive merits of the acquisition and that the transaction will ultimately be completed," Sabre said.

"Over the past nine months, we believe we have done all we can to address the DOJ's concerns," Sabre president and CEO Sean Menke said in a statement. "While we hope the DOJ will ultimately recognize that this transaction is pro-competitive, we are prepared to vigorously defend the deal in court if necessary."

In November 2018, Sabre announced its intent to acquire Farelogix for $360 million to accelerate its work on IATA's New Distribution Capability. At the time, Sabre believed the acquisition would close by the end of 2018 or in early 2019, but that date was pushed out in light of a DOJ probe into the transaction. 

This week, Sabre said it has notified the DOJ of its intent to finalize the transaction this month. The company said it has worked closely with the DOJ since announcing the Farelogix buy.

"As a combined company, Sabre and Farelogix will drive faster innovation in the dynamic, highly competitive airline technology space, helping airlines accelerate their growth and profitability while better serving travelers," Sabre said. "Sabre believes the transaction will bring needed scale and investment to Farelogix and enable Sabre to accelerate the delivery of the industry's first end-to-end NDC-enabled solution for the retailing, distribution and fulfillment of travel."

If the transaction goes through, Sabre has said Farelogix products will remain at the same or lower prices with the same or higher level of support.

The termination date of the acquisition agreement has been extended to April 30, 2020, Sabre said, "allowing time for any challenge by the DOJ to be resolved." Sabre did note, however, that Sabre and Farelogix "do not believe that litigation is appropriate in this matter."

In addition to the DOJ, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority is also reviewing the transaction. According to Sabre, it has issued an order enabling the transaction to close but preserving its ability to finish its review of the deal before they are integrated, a "procedural step." The outcome of its review must be complete by Aug. 16. The U.K. could enter another phase of review after that, if it so chooses.


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