Apax Said in Talks to Sell Travelex to Abu Dhabi Investor Group

May 22, 2014 12:17 pm ET

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Apax Partners LLP is in talks to sell a majority stake in Travelex Holdings Ltd. to an Abu Dhabi-based group of investors for about 500 million pounds ($843 million), said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, an Indian-born entrepreneur, Centurion Investment and Infinite Investment LLC, two firms owned by Abu Dhabi’s bin Butti family, are in talks to buy a controlling stake in the chain of currency-exchange centers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. A deal may be announced as soon as this week, the people said.

Apax had been poised to take Travelex public in an initial public offering. The London-based private-equity firm bought a majority stake in Travelex in 2005 in a deal that valued the company at about 1.1 billion pounds. Travelex, led by Chief Executive Officer Peter Jackson, sold assets including a card- program management unit to MasterCard Inc. in 2011 and a business-payments unit to Western Union Co. to focus on its consumer business.

Private-equity firms typically pool money from pension plans and endowments with a mandate to buy companies within five to six years, then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years. The firms usually charge a management fee of as much as 2 percent and keep 20 percent of the profits from investments.

Officials at Apax declined to comment. Representatives of Travelex and Centurion didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

--With assistance from Dinesh Nair in Dubai.