Pegasus Solutions Electronic Distribution Becomes DHISCO
The distribution division of Pegasus Solutions, now renamed DHISCO (an acronym for the distribution hospitality intelligent systems company) will now operate as a stand-alone hotel distribution services company following its acquisition by H.I.G. Capital.
Official announcement of the acquisition and rebranding will take place at the HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) Winter Conference in Long Beach, Calif., Jan. 13-15, 2015. In announcing DHISCO, H.I.G. Capital confirmed that the company will be led by Toni Portmann who has assumes the roles of CEO and executive chairman. Ms. Portman has previously managed other high-tech companies, including organizations in which H.I.G. Capital has an investment interest. H.I.G. Capital is a global private equity investment firm with over $17 billion of total capital under management.
DHISCO processes over eight billion accommodation shopping transactions monthly, in doing so serving 300+ hotel chains in over 200 countries, together offering over 100,000 hotels worldwide.
DHISCO announced retention of several key, long-time senior staff including John Owens to lead the sales organization, Lynn Malouf to manage client relations, Craig Barnaby to head up product development and Mel Kemp to direct IT.
The DHISCO name is reminiscent of the organization whose technology and activities DHISCO now administers, THISCO, an acronym for The Hotel Industry Switch Company. THISCO was established in 1989 by 17 leading hotel companies with the mandate to provide electronic connectivity between hotel company central reservation systems and the then five global distribution systems. The connectivity platform was christened UltraSwitch.
In the years following its founding, THISCO (later branded as Pegasus Systems and then Pegasus Solutions) developed several widely used services in addition to UltraSwitch. These included reservation representation services using first the RezView CRS developed by Anasazi, Inc. (which Pegasus acquired in 2001) and later the RezView Next Generation CRS. They also included sales and reservation services from Utell International, travel agency commission payment (by Hotel Clearing Corporation, later Pegasus Financial Services), content management, data caching and connectivity to online travel agencies and numerous online hotel booking websites.
This is the second acquisition of a Pegasus Solutions division by H.I.G Capital. In April 2013, the private equity firm assumed ownership of Pegasus Financial Services, later renamed Onyx Payments.
Pegasus Solution was owned since 2005 by the Boston-based private equity firm Prides Capital who initiated its disaggregation in April 2013 with sale of its travel agency commission processing division, Pegasus Financial Services to H.I.G. Capital. The reservation services division was sold in October 2014, to Regent Equity Partners and the divestment was completed in November 2014, with H.I.G. Capital’s acquisition of the distribution division.
H.I.G. Capital has committed to provide financial backing to DHISCO to enable it to enhance and evolve its hospitality distribution capabilities. This intention will be welcomed by the lodging industry, for which extensive, highly-reliable connectivity with GDSs, OTA, search engines and booking web sites has become a high strategic priority.
After considerable speculation within the global lodging industry about the future of Pegasus Solutions and its services, this asset redistribution may bring greater confidence in those services’ continuing availability. As DHISCO works to decouple itself for the reservation services division of Pegasus Solutions (which retains the Pegasus brand name) and the chart and articulate its plans to develop and deploy new or revitalized distribution solutions, it will find the lodging community eagerly watching its activities.