WORLDSPAN Acquires PARS Service Partnership

ATLANTA -- Atlanta-based WORLDSPAN Travel Information Services announced on May 5 its acquisition of Kansas City-based Pars Service Partnership (PSP) from Northwest Airlines and Trans World Airlines. The transaction is valued at $25 million.

WORLDSPAN is jointly owned by affiliates of Delta Air Lines, Northwest, TWA and Singapore-based Abacus Distribution Systems Pte Ltd. The computer reservations systems provides a wide range of travel information services to more than 10,000 travel agencies worldwide. PSP is owned by affiliates of Northwest and TWA and provides data processing and network communication services for Northwest, TWA, WORLDSPAN, Abacus and a number of smaller airlines.

As part of the transaction, WORLDSPAN acquires substantially all PSP assets including contracts, hardware, software and licenses, and a data processing center located in Kansas City. In addition, WORLDSPAN acquires certain PSP liabilities including equipment and office space leases, and contracts with third-party service providers.

At closing, approximately 850 PSP employees become WORLDSPAN employees. AS consolidation of the two operations is accomplished, about half of the former PSP employees will be relocated to Atlanta, with about half remaining in Kansas City. A transition management team has already begun work on consolidation of the two organizations and computer systems.

Cal Rader, WORLDSPAN's chief executive officer, said the acquisition of PSP offers considerable efficiencies and cost savings. "The economic and competitive environments dictate that we closely monitor business operations and constantly explore ways to become more efficient," he said. "By combining facilities, development, communications and staff functions, we are streamlining operations and focusing greater resources on growth and customer service."

"We now have new lines of business," Rader continued. "As a result of this acquisition, WORLDSPAN will be providing internal reservations systems and operations services for airlines." We have the potential to expand these areas as well as to explore new business opportunities. At WORLDSPAN, we are committed to growing our business while maintaining the highest standards of quality in all our products and services."

"WORLDSPAN is a leading contender for the travel agency market," said John Dasburg, Northwest president and chief executive officer. "This will give WORLDSPAN a stronger presence as a distribution system and broaden our product line. In short, this acquisition makes an already great product even better."