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Trainline to fetch GBP 1bn price tag in potential sale: Sky News
Posted on Friday, 08 June 2018 09:58
Private equity firm KKR is considering a sale of one of the UK’s largest rail-booking applications, Trainline, which could be worth about GBP 1.00 billion, Sky News reported.

Citing people familiar with the process, the broadcaster observed that talks have begun with potential advisors for an auction of the travel company; however, the timing and structure of such a process is yet to be disclosed.

Sources did not say if bankers have been hired at this stage and people close to the buyout group noted a disposal is unlikely to take place this year.

KKR paid GBP 500.00 million for Trainline in 2015 and has grown the business to become one of the largest travel booking applications in the UK, according to Sky News, and expanded its reach to over 150 countries.

The group now generates sales of about GBP 2.40 billion, as of 2017, and has significantly benefitted from the increase in fares across Britain’s rail network.

Interestingly, the news comes amid debates over the country’s train market and transport secretary Chris Grayling announcing plans to change the dated national signalling system, Sky News reported.

According to the broadcaster, he has also faced scrutiny for putting the east coast main line under state control for the third time in just over ten years.

Prior to coming under KKR’s ownership, Trainline was owned by Exponent Private Equity, which paid GBP 163.00 million for the group in 2006.

At this time, it is unclear if the company is likely to stay under private equity ownership or be purchased by a strategic player.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 119 deals targeting travel arrangement and reservation service providers announced worldwide since the start of 2018.

The largest of these by some way is Marriott Vacations Worldwide agreeing to acquire US-based travel membership and leisure group ILG for USD 4.70 billion.

Unifirm of Cyprus increased its stake in travel agency group TUI from 23.0 per cent to 30.0 per cent for EUR 802.40 million in the second biggest transaction.

© Zephus Ltd