Ticketing company opts for sale

Trainline.com sold to US investment firm KKR

East Coast Main LineA US investment company has bought online ticketing firm Trainline.com in an undisclosed deal that ends the company’s plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

Trainline had been working on a £500 million listing but Exponent, its owner,  sold it to KKR which has promised to provide the capital and resources to allow it to expand.

The company, which sells rail tickets for all the train companies, is the most downloaded travel app in Britain and its website ranks 5th by gross transaction value in the UK e-commerce sector. Its 4.7m customers make 20.8m visits per month.

Doug McCallum, chairman, said: “Our vision is to transform Trainline into a leading international ecommerce platform and an indispensable partner of the smartphone-enabled digital mobility landscape. We are excited to be able to accelerate this journey with an experienced and global investment partner like KKR.”

Clare Gilmartin, chief executive, said the company had achieved a lot during eight years working alongside Exponent.

“We are well positioned to capitalise on great growth opportunities driven by the systemic shift to online in rail and the step-change in mobile and e-fulfilment, as well as international opportunities,” he said.

“In KKR we have found a partner that can support our expansion with capital, operational resources and access to its global network.”

Dominic Murphy, member and head of KKR operations in Britain, said: “The investment in Trainline adds to our track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to build global companies and industry leaders. Similar to our Alliance Boots investment, we will support a strong investment program leading to a further transformation and strong international expansion of the company.”



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