Sector Consumer, retail and leisure
Location Cheadle, UK
Investment type Secondary
EV at exit £240m
Date of exit September 2015
Investment status Realised
Return 3.6x; IRR 84%

On the Beach Group plc

The company

Founded in 2004 by Simon Cooper, CEO, On the Beach Group plc operates a single online brand (www.onthebeach.co.uk) which has rapidly become the UK market leader for short-haul dynamically packaged beach holidays. Over one million customers will book a holiday with On the Beach Group plc this year.

The business has a market leading technology platform, developed in a highly agile environment with constant innovation and personalisation to deliver a rich customer experience.

With the support of Inflexion we have accelerated our technology capabilities, brought in-house direct contracting of bed supply, invested in brand building through investment into television advertising and expanded our geographic reach. This leaves On the Beach Group plc extremely well-placed to capitalise on the strong growth prospects of a $54 billion addressable European market. Simon Cooper, CEO, On the Beach Group plc

Growth strategy

Keen to further grow market share in the UK and expand its international offering, the founder and his management team sought a partner who could help accelerate their international development.

The Inflexion difference

Inflexion’s buyout in October 2013 helped On the Beach exploit the structural shift to online holiday bookings by supporting significant investment in R&D, brand awareness and digital enhancement. Inflexion also introduced the Chairman, Richard Segal, experienced in supporting the rapid international growth of online businesses.

Capitalising on strategic partnerships with world-class digital leaders such as Google, Inflexion worked with On the Beach to optimise search, helping to significantly increase customer conversion rates and sales. In parallel, observing rising consumer demand to book holidays using mobile devices, our Digital Director helped appoint a Head of Mobile to complement the development of the company’s mobile optimised websites; mobile devices now account for over 10% of all bookings. In addition, On the Beach launched its first iOS mobile app last year and downloads have already exceeded 260,000.

On the Beach’s highly scalable business model led the way for a successful internationalisation strategy. Inflexion supported the recruitment of an International Sales Director and earlier this year On the Beach launched in Sweden. During our tenure employee numbers doubled whilst Group EBITDA for the nine months to June 2015 grew by 45% compared to the same period in 2014.

In September 2015, we worked side by side with Simon Cooper and his team to successfully IPO On the Beach Group plc on the London Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of £240m. Inflexion generated a total realised and unrealised return of 3.6x with an IRR of 84%, within just 23 months of ownership.