Manchester-based online travel agent On the Beach has been sold by ISIS Equity Partners to Inflexion Private Equity for £73 million.
ISIS has owned a majority stake in the UK OTA since 2007 and claims the firm’s EBITDA (a measure of profitability) has grown four-fold in that time.
Inflexion will be backing the existing management team who will remain with the business, led by founder and chief executive, Simon Cooper. The firm will target UK and overseas expansion.
It has been widely known in the industry that On The Beach has been looking for new owners for some time.
Today’s announcement means the UK’s two largest independent online agents have now been sold within the last two years. Travel Republic was sold to Emirates-owned Dnata in December 2011.
Cooper said: “This is fantastic news for our business and we are delighted that Inflexion is investing in the next stage of growth for On the Beach.
“With their proven track record of working with businesses to grow both domestically and internationally, as well as their experience in the online retail sector, we feel they are the right partner for our business and we look forward to working together.”
Simon Turner, Managing Partner at Inflexion, commented: “On the Beach has grown rapidly over the last few years, taking market share from traditional, high street travel agents.
“The company has an exceptional management team which has developed a sophisticated and well-invested technology platform. Following our investment, we’ll support them to further grow the business in the UK, explore opportunities for international expansion and, with the help of our digital director, ensure the business is digitally optimised.”
Based in Cheadle, On the Beach carries more than 900,000 passengers each year and has says it has grown rapidly on the back of significant investment in technology, content and marketing.