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UAE tycoon leads takeover of forex giant Travelex
May 25, 2014, 1:25 pm

Dr BR Shetty, named the fifth richest Indian living and working in the Gulf region earlier this year, has announced a deal to acquire foreign exchange giant Travelex Holdings Ltd.

The UAE-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose fortune was calculated at $2 billion in the Arabian Business rich list in February, said that an agreement has been signed together with equity partners associated with Abu Dhabi's Centurion Investments.

The company has been acquired from funds advised by Apax Partners, Lloyd Dorfman, founder and chairman of Travelex, and other shareholders, a statement said. It added that Dorfman will be founder and president of Travelex and remain a shareholder while Peter Jackson, CEO of Travelex, together with the existing management team, will continue to lead the company.

Over the past 38 years, Travelex has built the world’s largest retail network of almost 1,500 foreign exchange stores and over 1,300 ATMs in 27 countries.
Shetty’s principal investment portfolio includes significant holdings in NMC Health plc, UAE Exchange and Neopharma as well as investments in hospitality, food and beverage businesses.

Shetty said: “I am delighted to be acquiring Travelex, a trusted and recognised global brand inspired by Lloyd Dorfman’s vision.  With an attractive growth strategy and an experienced management team Travelex has demonstrated its ability to execute on strategy, to innovate and to deliver strong financial results.”

Jackson added: “The sale of Travelex to Dr Shetty is an exciting new chapter for our business and represents a great opportunity for us to continue our expansion.

"Dr Shetty has developed a great business in UAE Exchange, with an impressive and successful payments and remittances offering which is highly complementary to Travelex. While we will continue to operate Travelex independently, the opportunity for both businesses to work closely together is compelling.”

Centurion is an investment vehicle based in Abu Dhabi, owned and controlled by Saeed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi, with a range of business interests.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory and other approvals and consents. The commercial terms of the proposed transaction have not been disclosed.

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