On The Beach and On Holiday Group quash deal rumours

Industry speculation that leading online travel agent On The Beach was poised to buy supplier On Holiday Group has been dismissed by both companies.

Rumours have been circulating for months but last Friday appeared to be gathering momentum with sources believing a deal was imminent.

But bosses from both firms have said there is no truth in any of the speculation, although On Holiday Group claims to have had expressions from interest from unnamed buyers.

On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott said: “Yes, we have had several interested parties ask us about the business, because strategically we are well placed.

“We are profitable, have no debt and are management owned, however we have no pressure to sell the business and until the right offer comes along we would not dream of it.”

Endacott has made no secret of the fact that he would listen to the right offer if one came along, but said the business was not up for sale.

On The Beach managing director Simon Cooper and commercial director Johnny Pollard both dismissed the rumours.

They said the Manchester-based agent has a close commercial relationship with On Holiday Group as one of its volume retailers, but nothing more.

Industry observers said a deal would make sense for a company like On The Beach because it would help secure stock of beds.

On Holiday Group owns the trade bed bank Holiday Brokers, as well as its consumer facing brand Fresh Holidays and hotel booking website

The accommodation-only sector has become increasingly consolidated in recent years with Thomas Cook buying the two largest players in the UK market MedHotels and Hotels4U.

Venture Capitalist-owned On The Beach is one of the UK’s two biggest independent holiday retailers.

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