Ticket operator Trainline.com gears up for IPO

8th January 2015

The UK’s biggest train ticket retailer Trainline.com has announced its intention to float.

The operator’s private equity owners Exponent, hired Morgan Stanley last July to oversee a potential £400m float, according to The Telegraph but it was put off by market volatility at the time. The float is now expected to be worth circa £500m. Exponent snapped up Trainline for £160m some nine years ago and originally it started out as part of Virgin Trains.

Commenting on the news, Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Two immediate positives spring out of this announcement – a company which clearly has confidence in economic prospects, floating at a time when markets have been skittish, whilst also ensuring a retail element to the offer in recognition of the company’s customers.”

“It’s refreshing that Trainline recognise the importance of giving the general public the opportunity to invest from outset given the vast majority of IPOs in the last year have not.”

“As we have seen with many other IPOs a retail element increases a company’s exposure during the floatation process and gives the public the same opportunity to invest from outset as the institutions. IPOs encourage first time investors to dip their toe into the stock market. Investing is good for them and the companies involved. More companies coming to market should offer a retail element.”

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