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Travel Startup Hopper Seeks $200 Million in Pre-IPO Debt

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(Bloomberg) -- Hopper, a travel-booking startup, is in talks with banks about arranging a credit facility of about $200 million ahead of a potential initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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The Montreal-based company may pursue a listing as early as next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Hopper may be valued at about $5 billion, pending market conditions, one of them added. No final decision has been made and Hopper could opt to remain private.

A Hopper representative declined to comment.

Closely held Hopper, which counts Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s growth equity arm, Capital One Financial Corp. and WestCap among its investors, in August said it completed a $175 million financing led by GPI Capital that valued it at more than $3.5 billion.

Securing a credit line from Wall Street often precedes an IPO. Companies with ambitions of going public routinely reward banks that make big credit commitments with roles in their IPOs, and lenders sometimes offer better financing terms in return.

Hopper was founded in 2007 by Joost Ouwerkerk and Chief Executive Officer Frederic Lalonde, both former Expedia Group Inc. executives. The company has said its technology results in substantial discounts for travelers, who are then enticed to become repeat customers. Its app has been downloaded more than 64 million times and the platform has facilitated the planning of over 180 million trips, Hopper’s website shows.

In August, the company said that fintech offerings represent a majority of its revenue, and that it intends to pursue new travel categories such as home rentals and regional expansion in Europe. Hopper also said at the time that its share of North America’s air travel market exceeded pre-pandemic numbers.

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