Shares in Holidaybreak soar over takeover talks

 
Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in Holidaybreak, the specialist holiday provider, rose 15 per cent yesterday after the company revealed it was in takeover talks.

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.