The UK-based foreign exchange company Travelex is understood to be about to see a majority stake in the business sold to the Dubai-based company UAE Exchange.
The private equity company Apax Partners has held a 50.2% stake in the company since 2005 and last year hired Rothschild to advise it on options for disposing of the stake. The flotation of the business was initially considered the most probable option, but it is understood that talks with Dr Bavaguthu Shetty are now close to reaching agreement on the purchase of the stake by his company UAE Exchange, one of the leading foreign exchange companies in Asia. Reports suggest that the agreement has yet to be finalised, and in the event that the talks collapse plans for a flotation would be revived, but sources suggest that it is likely that announcement of a deal is now imminent.
It is thought that a deal would value Apax’s stake at around £500m (US$843m). Travelex last year reported EBITDA of £80.1m on sales of £694.1m. It operates around 1,500 stores and 1,250 ATMS in 27 countries.
Neither Apax nor Travelex are prepared to comment.