Trainline sale on track, second round bids due
(Reuters) - Exponent Private Equity's sale of British rail ticket retailer and information provider thetrainline.com is on track with a number of interested buyers going through to the next round of bidding, banking sources said on Friday.
Exponent, which bought the company for 163 million pounds in 2006 from Virgin backed by 116 million pounds debt, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data, is seeking to sell the company with a price tag of over 300 million.
Rothschild is advising on the process and first round bids were received at the end of last month.
Exponent declined to comment.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Providence Equity Partners and Teachers were all expected to go through to the second round auction phase, bankers said, as well as trade buyers. Other private equity firms which have been linked to the deal include Blackstone and Bridgepoint.
Bankers are preparing debt packages of around 170-180 million pounds to back any buyout, should it go to a private equity buyer, bankers said.
The company has EBITDA of 25-30 million pounds and any debt deal was expected to be just over 4 times leveraged on the drawn debt, bankers said.
Trainline was formed in 1999 to sell rail tickets online and through call centres. In addition to its website, it operates retail websites for the majority of the train operating companies and serves a number of major corporations and travel agents, according to Exponent's website.
Looks like its just private equity and pension funds in the running to buy it.