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Travel industry news

30 Sep 2015

BY Edward Robertson


IPO boost for On the Beach

On the Beach’s debut on the London Stock Exchange will allow the management team to focus on growing the business, the firm’s founder has told TTG.

Simon Cooper On the Beach

Chief executive Simon Cooper said he had been delighted with the flotation that raised £90.2 million with the release of 52,173,912 shares at a price of 184 pence per share.


The IPO saw the company valued at £240 million.


Of the £90.2 million net proceeds initially expected, £6.4 million is for On the Beach with the remaining £83.8 million distributed to the selling shareholders, which comprise the private equity firm Inflexion, the company’s directors, members of the senior management team and other individuals.


Cooper said: “In a little less than 11 years, we have established On the Beach as one of the UK’s leading online retailers of beach holidays.


“Our highly differentiated business model and superior technology platform has been core to the success of the business.


“The IPO of On the Beach marks an exciting milestone in the company’s development and will support us in our ambition to become Europe’s leading online retailer of beach holidays.”


He added: “The deal’s completion first and foremost gives the opportunity to get back to the day job for the three of us that have fronted all the investor meetings. We can now do all the things we have not been able to do for the last three months as we’ve been on the road.”


Cooper said that while the management team was retaining 80% of the original stock, some of the new money could be reinvested into the business.


However, he added: “We’ve got a very supportive bank so we’re never short of funds to invest and where we see growth opportunities we will continue to invest.”


Cooper said part of this would be continuing the European expansion of the site, which has started with a launch into Sweden.


Working more closely with partners could also be on the cards, although he maintained there is no need to change the current business model.


“We are an OTA and we don’t see that changing any time in the future. But if we are able to increase margins by partnering more closely with our suppliers, then of course we will.”

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