attracts PE interest, the UK price comparison company founded by Simon Nixon, is again the subject of private equity speculation.

Our sister title, Real Deals, reports that private equity house Apax has shown interest in Talks between the buyout house and the business are said to have begun last year, though they didn’t develop into formal discussions.’s acquisition by Apax would allow the private equity house to merge the comparison website with its US counterpart, Bankrate.

Apax acquired US price comparison website Bankrate in 2009, picking up shares at $28.50. is currently owned by entrepreneur Simon Nixon, who holds a 52.2 per cent stake. would make an attractive addition to Apax’s portfolio. Its revenues last year came in at £136.9m, with 120 million visitors to the website. is headquartered in Ewloe, Flintshire, in North Wales, and employs 450 people.

Simon Nixon,’s co-founder and executive chairman, was named the Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur at our 2007 Real Business Growing Business Awards. He launched in 1999.

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