Friday 22 July 2016 2:16 pm

Smooth sailing: Risk Capital Partners set to sell to Bridgepoint Development Capital

Online cruise booking firm is about to set sail from one private equity firm… to another. 

Risk Capital Partners, of which serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson is chairman, is in talks to sell to Bridgepoint Development Capital for a reported £50m. 

A deal could be struck and made public as soon as next week, Sky News first reported. Other interested parties for web-only travel agent are said to include TripAdvisor and Inflexion Private Equity. 

Read more: British superyacht sector's revenue up by 10pc

Risk Capital Partners acquired the bookings website in 2013 in a deal thought to be worth £20m and has ridden the wave of the cruise industry's expansion over the last three years. 

A year and a half ago, Risk Capital Partners also invested in CruiseWall, which aggregates cruise-related content on social media. 

Read more: London loses out as tourists look beyond the capital

The UK cruise market grew 8.8 per cent in 2015 alone, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. 

The number of UK cruise holidaymakers are second only to Germany in Europe. 

In April, Johnson's firm Eclectic Bar bought Brighton Pier for £18m. Johnson is also chairman of Patisserie Valerie and is a former chairman of Channel Four and Pizza Express. 

Risk Capital Partners declined to comment. Bridgepoint Development Capital could not be reached for comment.