Speculation is mounting of a £400 million-plus sale of online ticket retailer thetrainline.com next year.
Weekend reports suggested that owner, private equity firm Exponent, is to consider “strategic options” for the company.
The Reuters report said: “People familiar with the matter said the mandate could lead to a sale to a strategic bidder or rival private equity firm, or potentially a flotation. Any such move is unlikely to come before mid-2011.”
Exponent bought thetrainline in 2006 for £163 million from Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
Thetrainline runs its own website and call centres and helps 14 of Britain’s 18 train operating companies sell tickets.
Exponent was quoted as saying that no exit process was underway or currently planned.