LONDON May 22 Private equity firm Apax
is in talks to sell Travelex to the owner
of the UAE Exchange, two sources familiar with the matter said
on Thursday, suggesting a rethink of its planned 1 billion-pound
($1.7 billion) listing of the foreign exchange company.
Apax is in talks with Bavaguthu Shetty, the owner of money
transfer service UAE exchange, which has over 6 million
customers in 30 countries, the sources said, adding that Shetty
was considering fully purchasing Travelex along with a
consortium of investors.
The talks are a "serious consideration" for Apax, which
bought a controlling stake in Travelex in 2005, one of the
A deal is expected to come through in the coming days,
although nothing has been signed as yet, the other source said.
Apax had originally planned to list Travelex on the London
Stock Exchange in May or June this year, in a flotation
potentially worth over 1 billion pounds.
However the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) has
cooled in recent weeks, with UK companies from Saga IPO-SAGA.L
to Card Factory struggling to attract investor
Private equity groups usually prefer to sell their
investments to other companies, in so-called trade sales, as it
allows them to realize their investment in one go.
Last year, Travelex had earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 80.1 million pounds.
Its listing was due to be run by JP Morgan and Goldman
Travelex was not immediately available for comment.
($1 = 0.5931 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Freya Berry)