Thetrainline.com spent more than £2 million preparing for a sale of the company last year which then hit the buffers.
The figure of £2.1 million appeared in latest accounts for the online rail ticketing website, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Investment bank Rothschild was taken on by the company’s private equity backer Exponent to handle the prospective sale in 2012 with an expected price tag of up to £500 million.
But it failed to attract an offer of more than £250 million and the sale process was abandoned, according to the newspaper.
Accounts for the year to March 2, 2013 reportedly show Thetrainline and sister site Qjump handling ticket sales of £1.4 billion and a pre-tax loss of £1 million on a turnover of £108 million, down from losses of £6.2 million the previous year.
Directors said that “sales through the Thetrainline website continued to grow strongly, driven by investment in marketing”, adding that sales via its mobile app were also growing.