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22 January 2015

Exponent sells Trainline to KKR

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Exponent Private Equity (“Exponent”) today announces that it has reached an agreement to sell thetrainline.com (“Trainline”) to KKR & Co. for an undisclosed sum.

Trainline is the leading provider of rail tickets in the UK by value of tickets sold, and provides journey planning and booking solutions for rail travel.  Since it was established in 1997, the business has developed a scalable IT platform with a strong focus on customer driven innovation.  In addition to its consumer offering, which forms the core of its business, the Group also provides rail booking solutions for corporate entities and Travel Management Companies, as well as providing support to the online sales platforms of a number of Train Operating Companies.

Exponent acquired Trainline in 2006 and has since worked closely with the senior management team to grow and develop the company.

Commenting on the sale, Tom Sweet-Escott, co-founder of Exponent, said: “Trainline has established itself as a clear leader in the online rail ticket sector, boosted by a strong brand and innovative customer offering.  We are delighted to have worked with the senior management team throughout such a defining period for the company, and I am confident that its success will continue as it pursues further growth opportunities in mobile, e-ticketing and expansion into Europe.”

Clare Gilmartin, CEO of Trainline, said: “Trainline has enjoyed great success in the eight years of our partnership with Exponent, and we are excited about what the future holds for the company.  The continued growth in rail, shift to online sales of rail tickets, increasing popularity of mobile and e-ticketing, and the potential for expansion in Europe, all offer attractive opportunities for the company.  We are looking forward to working with KKR to capitalise on these opportunities.”