On the Beach: selling to private equity

8th March 2019

Simon Cooperfounder and chief executive of On the Beach – which featured on Profit Track 100 in 2014, after successfully raising two rounds of private equity, and has doubled its value to £550m since floating in 2015 – speaks at our Profit Track 100 alumni dinner for founders and shareholders in London. The dinner was co-hosted by Giles Nicholas, managing director, UBS Wealth Management, and Fast Track’s founder Hamish Stevenson.


On the Beach’s founder and chief executive shared his business insights in a Q&A with Hamish, identifying the key milestones on On The Beach’s journey.



Simon founded ski holiday company On the Piste, which he sold to Thomson in 2008, having already launched On the Beach in 2004. He sold a majority stake to Livingbridge in 2007, valuing the business at £36m, and in 2013 led a secondary buyout backed by Inflexion Private Equity in a deal that valued the company at £75m. In 2015, he led the group’s £240m IPO on LSE main market. With the company now valued at £550m, Simon remains chief executive and retains a significant shareholding.

Speaking about the lessons he has learned  through working with both private equity and public markets, Simon said: “Private equity, you probably see your investors twice a month; public markets, you see them twice a year – you have one hour to pitch what you want to sell them, and that’s a very different skill.”


Guest insights

Simon shared his insights with 19 founders and directors from 19 Profit Track 100 alumni companies, including Mace, Mark Allen Group and HH Global.

Mark Reynolds, chief executive of Mace, has driven sales at his construction consultancy from £1bn to £2bn in five years. He explained some of the challenges the current political uncertainty is posing to the company.



Ted Stimpson, chief executive of Leisure Pass Group — which is owned by Exponent Private Equity — talked to us about the challenges he is experiencing with integrating the three companies brought together into a single brand under LPG.



A word from our sponsor



Guests enjoyed networking drinks and dinner with representatives from UBS Wealth Management. Giles Nicholas, managing director, welcomed guests and emphasised the tremendous contribution they make to the UK economy and job creation.


More information on the Profit Track 100

For information about our alumni dinners and opportunities for sponsors, visit our sponsorship page: https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/sponsorship/

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