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Speculation around bids for stake

Scottish Equity Partners ‘poised to sell shares’ in Skyscanner

Gareth Williams 2Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has appointed Goldman Sachs to sell  a stake in flight comparison website Skyscanner, according to City sources.

Unconfirmed reports claim that Glasgow-based SEP may offload a part of its stake in the company to a sovereign wealth fund or pension fund. It invested £2.5 million in the company in 2008 and is now sitting on a huge return.

Bidders are likely to include Baillie Gifford, the Scottish pension fund manager, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Japan’s Softbank Group Corporation.

Skyscanner, based in the Quartermile area of Edinburgh, has been valued at $1 billion, giving early stage investors a huge potential pay-day.

There has been some speculation that the company is being prepared for a flotation next year and that chief executive Gareth Williams (pictured) may be looking at a succession plan.

Two years ago the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia invested in the company in one of its rare forays outside the US.

Skyscanner, which makes most of its money from airline referral fees, had revenues of £88.6m last year, a rise of 37% on the previous year.

Pre-tax profit fell from £22m to  £12.6m as a result of investment in ramping up the payroll and product development.

 

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