Holidaybreak, which provides outdoor education and adventure trips for school children, confirmed yesterday that it is in discussions with a third party, sending shares up to 367p last night to give a market cap of £223m.
Cox & Kings, a tour operator listed in Mumbai has been named as a potential bidder, while analysts believe a number of private equity firms may be interested in buying the company.
In May, Holidaybreak reported an increased first-half pre-tax loss after harsh winter conditions and a difficult economy hurt consumer spending, but analysts believe the group has been undervalued by the market.
Last month the group sold its London-based theatre tickets agency West End Theatre Bookings for £10.9m to reduce its debt and focus on expanding its growing educational holidays division.
Holidaybreak, which is being advised by Citi, was unavailable for comment.