Rail ticketing service Trainline plans London float

Slideshow ( 2 images )

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Trainline said on Wednesday it planned to float the online rail and coach travel platform in London to increase its profile and tap into the growing demand for e-ticketed travel across Europe.

Founded more than 20 years ago, the British company sells tickets from 220 rail and coach carriers across 45 European and Asian countries on its website and mobile app, generating net ticket sales of 3.2 billion pounds in the fiscal-year 2019.

The platform, which employs more than 600 people in London, Paris and Edinburgh, was bought by KKR in 2015.

It intends to have a free float of 25 percent of the company’s issued share capital, with around 50 million pounds raised through the issue of new shares, and a larger but undisclosed sum raised from the sale of existing shares.

Chief Executive Clare Gilmartin, previously with eBay, said the time was right to list the company, as the profitable business seeks to benefit from government drives to increase train travel.

More than 60% of tickets in the five biggest European rail markets are still sold offline, she said, showing the potential to grow further.

The company could be listed by the end of June.

Reporting by Paul Sandle and Kate Holton; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith