CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Shares of Travelocity owner Sabre rise in debut

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:01pm EDT

(Corrects paragraph 4 to change number of outstanding shares and valuation)

April 17 (Reuters) - Shares of Sabre Corp, the airline ticketing technology provider that also owns online travel agency Travelocity, rose as much as 7 percent in their market debut after the company sold fewer shares than expected in its initial public offering and priced them below the targeted range.

China's Weibo Corp, which is set to start trading later on Thursday, has also cut the size of its IPO and priced shares at the lower end of the expected range.

Sabre's shares, which were priced at $16 each, rose to a high of $17.17 in early trading on the Nasdaq. They gave up some of their gains to trade up 4 percent at $16.60 by 1100 ET.

At the high, the company had a market value of about $4.44 billion based on the 258.7 million outstanding shares listed in its IPO filing. Underwriters have the option to buy more shares.

Sabre, spun off from American Airlines' parent AMR Corp in 2000, was taken private by TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners in 2007 for about $5 billion including debt.

The company had debt of about $3.64 billion as of Dec. 31.

Texas-based Sabre raised $627.2 million selling all the 39.2 million shares, lower than the 44.74 million shares it initially planned to offer.

The recent selloff in U.S. stocks after a strong start to the year has hurt companies looking to go public.

The IPO comes at a time when the global travel and tourism industry is growing at a rapid rate. Technology spending by air transportation and hospitality businesses is expected to grow about 17 percent to $70 billion between 2013-2017, according to research group Gartner.

TPG, Sabre's biggest shareholder, will see its stake falling to about 37 percent after the offering from 45.2 percent. Silver Lake's stake will drop to 22.8 percent from 27.8 percent.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and Deutsche Bank were lead underwriters to the offering. (Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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