Monday 21 October 2019

Irish Trainline boss Gilmartin to see stake value top £40m in IPO

Trainline’s Clare Gilmartin studied at UCD. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Trainline’s Clare Gilmartin studied at UCD. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Dublin woman Clare Gilmartin, CEO of online rail and travel booking business Trainline, is expected to see her stake in the business valued at as much as £43m (€47.2m) in a listing later this month.

Gilmartin is due to preside over one of Europe's biggest stock market flotations, which is likely to value the business at £1.5bn.

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However, late last week, Sky News reported the IPO plan could be derailed, with Sweden's EQT Partners among a small number of parties weighing up a possible takeover offer to buy Trainline ahead of the planned listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Gilmartin, a former eBay executive, joined Trainline five years ago and has been credited with the company's rapid growth.

Originally part of Virgin Rail, Trainline now has operations in 45 countries, selling a vast number of tickets on its website and app.

It posted revenue of £210m last year as ticket sales rose 19pc to £3.2bn. Pre-tax losses fell from £29.4m to £13.7m.

Private equity group KKR bought Trainline for about £500m in early 2015. "We have been able to transform the business hugely since then," Gilmartin told the Irish Independent earlier this year.

Under the listing plan, the company would seek to raise £75m by selling new shares to investors to fund expansion.

Gilmartin was born in Dublin and studied international commerce and German at UCD. She started her management career at Unilever in 1997 before joining Boston Consulting Group and then Ebay.

According to a number of reports in the UK, Gilmartin owns around 2.8pc of the company, which could value her stake at close to £43m.

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