Trainline sale

25 June 2014

The private equity owners of Trainline, the rail booking system created by Virgin and Stagecoach, are reported to be lining up a £400 million flotation. Exponent Private Equity began to tout the business in 2010 but slammed on the brakes in 2012 after attracting a highest bid of only £250m. Trainline sells tickets under licence from the Association of Train Operating Companies, which represents 24 TOCs, but while buying tickets from train company website is free, Trainline charges a typical fee of £7.50 per transaction. Mick Whelan said: ‘It’s yet another example of private companies exploiting passengers and taxpayers to squeeze more private profit out of what should be a public service.’

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