(Adds details on deal and company)
LONDON May 23 Apax is to sell its
majority stake in foreign exchange operator Travelex
to Dr Shetty, the owner of UAE Exchange, and Abu Dhabi firm
Centurion Investments, the private equity group said on Friday.
Apax had previously been planning a London listing of
Travelex in May or June this year.
The price of the deal was not disclosed, but sources
previously told Reuters that the listing of Travelex could give
the company a value of up to 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion)
The market for listings has cooled in recent weeks, with UK
companies from Saga to Card Factory
struggling to attract investor interest.
Private equity groups also generally opt to sell their
investments to other companies where possible, in so-called
trade sales, as it allows them to realise their investment in
Travelex, the world's largest foreign exchange specialist,
was set up as a bureau de change in 1970s London by entrepreneur
Lloyd Dorfman. It now trades in over 80 currencies and more than
Dr Bavaguthu Shetty is the owner of money transfer service
UAE Exchange, which has over 6 million customers in 30
countries, and private healthcare company NMC Health.
Private equity house Centurion has made a number of investments
in Shetty's businesses.
JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs had been due to
lead the London listing.
($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Freya Berry; Editing by Anjuli and Mark Potter)