UK’s On The Beach rises as founder boosts stake to become top shareholder

(Reuters) – On The Beach said on Monday its founder and former CEO, Simon Cooper, has become the British holiday package provider’s top shareholder after he increased stake in the company last week, sending its shares up 12.5%.

Cooper bought 2.8 million shares at 88.1p apiece on Aug. 11, taking his stake in the company to 7.51% from 5.80%.

The company, whose shares have fallen about 42% this year, has been facing cost pressures from marketing and promotional activity as tough competition drives its volumes lower amid a prolonged cost-of-living crisis.

Cooper, 51, who founded On the Beach in 2004 and played a pivotal role in growing it into one of the UK’s leading online beach holiday retailers, stepped down as CEO at the end of June and took a non-executive role.

The company’s shares, which closed at 91.7 pence on Friday, were trading at 103.2 pence as of 1230 GMT.

($1 = 0.7890 pounds)

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar and Prerna Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)