Cox & Kings is in talks about a £450 million takeover of Holidaybreak.

Holidaybreak confirmed that discussions were taking place with the India-listed Cox & Kings after press speculation.

It said in a statement: “Further to the announcement on July 25 and recent press speculation, the board of Holidaybreak confirms that it is in discussions with Cox & Kings Limited which may or may not lead to an offer for Holidaybreak at a price of 432.1 pence in cash per ordinary share.

“At this stage there can be no certainty that any offer for the company will be forthcoming.”

Holidaybreak shares climbed 15% on Monday after the organiser of school trips and weekend breaks admitted it was in talks that could lead to a takeover.

The company, which last month reported half-year revenues of £140m and a pre-tax loss of £19.2m, is thought to have been quietly marketing its weekend breaks division, a process that may have led to discussions over a deal for the whole business.

Holidaybreak sold its theatre tickets agency, West End Theatre Bookings, last month to Encore Tickets for £10.9 million. The disposal proceeds will be used to reduce the group’s debt, Holidaybreak said at the time.