Apax Partners sells Travelex stake

Apax Partners has sold a majority ownership stake in Travelex to Dr. B. R. Shetty and equity partners associated with Centurion Investments. Travelex is a foreign exchange specialist.


Funds advised by private equity firm Apax Partners (“Apax Funds”) today announced the sale of their majority ownership stake in Travelex (“Travelex”), the world’s leading foreign exchange specialist, to Dr. B. R. Shetty (“Dr Shetty”) together with equity partners associated with Centurion Investments (“Centurion”).
Travelex is the world’s leading independent retail foreign exchange business. Over the past 38 years, it has built the world’s largest retail network of specialist foreign exchange stores and has developed Travelex as a trusted and widely recognised brand in foreign exchange.
Dr Shetty’s principal investment portfolio includes significant holdings in UAE Exchange, nmc Health plc, and Neopharma, as well as investments in hospitality, food and beverage businesses. UAE Exchange is a leading global money transfer and foreign exchange provider headquartered in the UAE. UAE Exchange was founded in 1980 and has a fast-growing international presence which today spans 32 countries with over 700 offices. Dr Shetty is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of nmc Health plc, the UAE’s largest private sector healthcare provider, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is part of the FTSE-250 index. Neopharma is the first company of its kind to engage in pharmaceutical manufacturing in Abu Dhabi, with state-of-the-art facilities.
Centurion is an investment vehicle based in Abu Dhabi, owned and controlled by His Excellency Saeed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi, with a range of business interests.
Apax Funds purchased a controlling stake in Travelex in 2005. During Apax Funds’ ownership period, the company committed substantial investment to enable significant growth, both geographically and through innovative product expansion.
Andrew Sillitoe, co-CEO at Apax Partners, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for Travelex’s management, employees and other stakeholders to leverage the growth and success the company has achieved in recent years. Since Apax Funds took an ownership stake in 2005, we have worked closely with Lloyd Dorfman and the management team to transform Travelex into a stronger company, expanding the business through new markets and product offerings, and improving operational performance. The team has accomplished a great deal and we have every confidence in the business’s long-term prospects.”
The proposed acquisition will be effected through BRS Ventures & Holdings Limited, a company owned by Dr Shetty and equity partners associated with Centurion. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals and consents. The acquisition will not result in additional debt being incurred by Travelex in connection with the financing of the acquisition and, other than in respect of the reorganisation of existing shareholder interests as a consequence of the transaction, it is intended to maintain the existing capital structure of Travelex. The commercial terms of the proposed transaction are confidential.
Standard Chartered Bank and Evercore (Financial Advisers to Dr Shetty), MENA Financial Partners (Advisers to Dr Shetty on financing matters), Linklaters (Legal Advisers to Dr Shetty).
Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Smith Square Partners (Financial Advisers to Travelex), Freshfields and Berwin Leighton Paisner (Legal Advisers to the Company), Macfarlanes (Legal Advisers to the Travelex management), Steinfeld Law (Legal Advisers to Lloyd Dorfman).
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays (Financial Advisers to Apax Partners), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Legal Advisers to Apax Partners).
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world’s leading private equity investment groups. It operates globally and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Apax Partners has advised funds that total over $40 billion around the world in aggregate. Funds advised by Apax invest in companies across four global sectors of Consumer, Healthcare, Services and Tech & Telco. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For further information about Apax, please visit www.apax.com.
About Travelex
Travelex is the world’s leading independent retail foreign exchange business. Over the past 38 years, it has built the world’s largest retail network of specialist foreign exchange stores and has developed Travelex as a trusted and widely recognised brand in foreign exchange. The Group’s mission is to help its customers spend and send money around the world.
Travelex operates across the entire value chain of the retail foreign exchange industry and its retail operations span 27 countries. As at 31 March 2014, it operated stores in 9 of the world’s top 20 international airports by international passenger numbers as well as in major transport hubs, premium shopping malls, high street locations, supermarkets and city centres. The Group has developed a growing network of over 1,300 ATMs at both on-airport and off-airport locations around the world, and has built a growing online and mobile foreign exchange platform. It also processes and delivers foreign currency orders for major banks, as well as for travel agencies, hotels and casinos. In addition, the Group sources and distributes large quantities of foreign currency banknotes for customers including central banks and international financial institutions. The Group is also active in the remittances and payments space and in the travel insurance brokerage business in the United States.
The Core Revenue and Core EBITDA of Travelex for the twelve months ended 31 December 2013 were £695.0 million and £80.1 million, respectively.
About Dr. B. R. Shetty
Dr. Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty was born in 1942 in the state of Karnataka, India. He moved to UAE in 1972 where, once he had attained his degree in pharmacy, he began his entrepreneurial career. Dr Shetty’s portfolio of businesses includes interests in healthcare, financial services, pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals, FMCG, scientific and medical equipment and foodstuffs. Within this portfolio, the three flagship ventures are:
UAE Exchange – established in 1980, UAE Exchange is a money transfer and money exchange global operator with operations in 32 countries and over 700 direct offices. The business has a customer base of 6 million and over 400,000 customers walk into a UAE Exchange store on a daily basis. www.uaeexchange.com
nmc Health plc – established in 1975, nmc Health was the first company in the UAE to provide private healthcare services. nmc Health has grown into a group of two principal divisions: nmc Healthcare, which is the largest healthcare provider in the private sector with a UAE presence and nmc Trading, which is one of the leading distribution businesses in the UAE. nmc Health plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE-250 index. www.nmc.ae
Neopharma LLC – established in 2003, neopharma is a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility which manufactures both generic and specialised drugs. The facility is based in Abu Dhabi. www.neopharmauae.com
Centurion has an established and proven association with Dr Shetty, having been a strong supporter and investor in a number of Dr Shetty’s businesses.