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The deal

Investing in the UK’s leading independent train ticket retailer


Deal size, July 2006

Fund I

Realised investment

The teams

Management Team

Chair: Doug McCallum

CEO: Clare Gilmartin

The story

Trainline is the leading independent retailer of train tickets in the UK. The business was formed in 1999 as part of Virgin before it was acquired by Exponent in July 2006.

Trainline sells train tickets through its own independent branded online, mobile and call centre channels. In addition to its own branded channel, the business also operates retail websites for Train Operating Companies and serves a large number of major corporations and travel agents.

Under Exponent’s ownership, the company grew through increased internet penetration of rail ticket sales and the general upward trend of passengers choosing to travel by rail over other modes of transport. The business also took advantage of significant growth opportunities in mobile and e-ticket transactions in the rail and travel sectors.

Exponent appointed Clare Gilmartin as CEO, previously at eBay as VP of UK and Greater Europe, to lead the management team. Doug McCallum, former SVP of eBay Europe, joined as Chairperson in 2013.

The business was acquired by funds managed by KKR for an undisclosed sum in March 2015.