Travelex And UAE Exchange Owner Eyes IPO

Billionaire Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty is combining Travelex and UAE Exchange under one parent company called Finablr in preparation for a possible initial public offering, according to Reuters.

The UAE-based businessman announced on Monday the creation of Finablr as the business that will hold the financial services companies he controls. His son and executive in the family businesses, Binay Shetty, told Reuters the plan is to bring Finablr public on the London stock market at some point after regulators approve the new holding company.

The two combined companies have more than 18,000 employees and 150 million customer transactions annually in 165 countries, including 45 in which they have a direct presence. Travelex is a global financial company with 1,500 stores and 1,250 ATMs at ports of entry and tourist locations worldwide, according to its website. UAE Exchange is one of the largest payment providers in the Middle East and has a dominant presence in the United Arab Emerites, according to the company. The non-UAE locations of the business are being rebranded Unimoni as part of Finablr’s creation.

Promoth Manghat, UAE Exchange CEO, said the creation of the new holding company will quicken the pace of UAE Exchange’s plan of acquisitions, according to the Reuters report. The company has spent about 40 percent of the $250 million to $300 million allocated for M&A actions. The company said the business combinations will enable better focus on innovative technology-driven experiences for customers.

“Our strength comes from over four decades of trust that we have built with our customers through a track record of innovation and excellence in service. Through investment in research and technology, we will bring forth game-changing products and services across our portfolio of brands to ensure we maintain our competitive edge,” stated B.R. Shetty, in the Finablr release.

In addition to financial services, the Shetty family controls U.K.-listed NMC Health, which operates hospitals in the UAE, and generic drugmaker Neopharma. The elder Shetty is credited with a net worth of $4.2 billion, according to Forbes.


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