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UAE Exchange to buy Travelex

uae exchange branch|TAP Special|UAE Exchange owners are said to be in talks with Apax Partners, the London-based private equity firm that controls Travelex Holdings, to buy majority stake in Travelex. The transaction may be worth about 500 million pounds ($843 million).

UAE Exchange is owned by BR Shetty, Centurion Investment and Infinite Investment LLC belonging to Abu Dhabi’s bin Butti family. Bloomberg reported quoting unnamed sources that a deal may be announced as soon as this week.

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, Bloomberg said.