Sabre to cut 1,200 jobs

Monday, August 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FORT WORTH – Sabre Holdings Corp., the world's largest travel-reservation company, said Monday that it will cut 1,200 jobs to save money even as it agrees to pay $757 million to buy an Internet travel business.

Sabre, which owns 62 percent of the Web site, will cut more than 11 percent of its work force through a combination of layoffs and attrition over the next several months, officials said.

The Fort Worth-based company said it would take a third-quarter charge of $20 million in connection with the job cuts.

At the same time, Sabre said it has agreed to pay $17.75 a share for, which operates an Internet marketplace focused on business-to-business travel services. The price is a premium of 46 percent over GetThere's closing price Friday.

In trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Sabre fell 81.2 cents to $28.938, while shares of GetThere rose $5.125 to $17.25.

Sabre will elimiate duplicative services to help save $100 million a year beginning in 2001, Sabre officials said in announcing the job cuts. The company has about 10,500 employees worldwide.

The money saved by cutting jobs will be reinvested in the company, officials said.

"This initiative is an important and integral part of implementing our strategy and ensuring that we maintain our leadership position as the premier technology company for the travel and transportation industries,'' William J. Hannigan, chairman, president and chief executive of Sabre, said in a written statement.

Hannigan said the GetThere deal signals the company's commitment to fueling growth through acquisitions and strategic partnerships with market leaders.

GetThere will continue to operate under the same name and will be based in Menlo Park, Calif. Gadi Maier, GetThere chairman, president and CEO, will be president of the combined organization and will report to Hannigan.

American Airlines' parent, AMR Corp., had owned 83 percent of Sabre before spinning it off as a stand-alone company in March.