‘Inflexion packs bags for rapid On The Beach exit’

X The Business Desk

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THE private equity owner of online holiday company On The Beach is reported to be looking to float it on the stock market, just nine months after backing a £73m secondary buyout.

According to The Telegraph mid-market investor Inflexion has held a beauty parade of bankers to lead the IPO and is looking for a market valuation of around £200m, some 10x its earnings of £20m.

Inflexion has exited two other businesses via floats this year, National Accident Helpline  and IT services provider FDM.

Founded by Manchester entrepreneur Simon Cooper, Cheadle-based On the Beach specialises in short-haul beach holidays and sells more than 900,000 a year.

It has been expanding internationally in the last few months, and recently launched a Scandinavian website and plans to create German and Dutch sites. It will also expand its long-haul offering, starting with Dubai, with plans to add the Far East and the Caribbean.

Inflexion declined to comment.
Meanwhile another business, with significant North West links, is also weighing up an IPO. British Car Auctions, which acquired Rochdale-based Carcraft in a highly secretive deal earlier this year, will be valued at £1.2bn if it lists.

The business is currently backed by US private equity group Clayton Dubilier & Rice, which also invested in Liverpool-based discount retailer B&M Bargains.