Travelex announces acquisition of the financial services division of Thomas Cook


8 Nov 2000


Travelex today announces the acquisition of the financial services division of Thomas Cook from Thomas Cook Holdings Ltd. for £440 million.

The transaction does not include the travel business of Thomas Cook.

Thomas Cook Financial Services Division

The financial services division of Thomas Cook ("TCFS") is an issuer of Mastercard and Visa travellers cheques, and a global provider of travel money. It has a network of foreign exchange branches and outsourcing contracts to provide travel money to customers including financial institutions and the travel agency business of Thomas Cook. TCFS is a growing provider of global payment services to corporations. It also offers travel assistance, sells pre-paid debit cards, and has a substantial interest in MoneyGram International.

The Travelex Group

The Travelex Group is a global provider of travel money with a network of airport and other foreign exchange branches, outsourcing contracts to provide travel money to customers such as Barclays, Carlson Wagonlit and Hogg Robinson BTI, and travel money marketing agreements with companies such as British Airways. It is also a growing provider of global payment services to corporations, offers travel insurance and operates ATMs. The Travelex Group operates in the UK, continental Europe, North America and Australasia. In a recent survey it was ranked the fifth fastest growing private company in the UK.

Financing

Barclays Bank PLC is underwriting the financing for the purchase consideration and providing guarantees to cover the issued and outstanding MasterCard and Visa travellers cheques of TCFS. 3i maintains its 33% shareholding in The Travelex Group and is committed to funding the future growth of the combined business.

Complementary Businesses

The acquisition brings together two businesses that strongly complement each other in operational, geographical and financial terms, particularly in the areas of retail travel money, outsourced travel money and global payments.

Announcing the acquisition, Lloyd Dorfman, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Travelex Group, commented:

"We are very excited about the acquisition of the financial services division of Thomas Cook. It is a unique opportunity and a dream come true. There is an excellent fit between The Travelex Group and TCFS with broad scope to integrate and further develop the two businesses. The combined company will have a broad distribution network with a significant position in the fast growing global payments business. Above all, it gives us a strong platform on which to create a truly world-leading, world-beating, British company.?

John Hempsey, Chief Executive Officer of the financial services division of Thomas Cook added:

"I am delighted that we have a shareholder who is strategically interested in developing and growing the business. Separately we have both been very successful; together we will be phenomenal.?

The transaction is subject to appropriate regulatory approvals.