On The Beach describes IPO report as 'pure speculation'

By Travolution
By Travolution
June 25, 2014 03:13 PM GMT

On The Beach described reports it is being lined up for a £200 million flotation by private equity owner Inflexion as pure speculation.

The investment company was said to have held a “beauty parade” of bankers to lead an initial public offering.

It was reported Inflexion was looking for a market valuation of about £200 million, 10 times On The Beach’s annual turnover of £20 million.

Such a valuation would mean a significant return for Inflexion, which bought On The Beach from rival Isis Equity Partners for £73 million last October.

Simon Cooper, founder of On The Beach, which is 10 years old this year, said: “It’s perfectly normal for private equity-backed businesses to have ongoing conversations with advisers.

"So therefore there will be conversations with banks and potential buyers taking place over the course of time, but the reports were pure speculation.”

The company is also gearing up for an international expansion drive and recently launched a Scandinavian website, with plans to create German and Dutch sites. On The Beach will also expand its long-haul offering, starting with Dubai, with plans to add the Far East and the Caribbean.

Unlike other recent technology flotations, On The Beach has been profitable from the start, some ten years ago. Founder Simon Cooper began the company from his Manchester terrace house generating holiday leads from Teletext.

On The Beach specialises in short-haul packaged beach holidays and sells more than 900,000 a year.

Inflexion declined to comment.

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