Western Union Said Near $1 Billion Travelex Unit Purchase...The Apax Partners LLP's Travelex logo is displayed on an outlet in New York, U.S., on Friday, July 1, 2011. Western Union Co., the world's largest money-transfer firm, is in talks to buy a division of Apax Partners LLP's Travelex foreign-exchange business for about $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
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Finablr, a United Arab Emirates-based payments and exchange business, said it was planning an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange to raise more than $200m via new shares.

The company is also considering the sale of existing shares, but said it had yet to make a final decision about whether to go ahead with the IPO, which would be used to boost expansion plans and reduce net debt of $564.2m at the end of 2018.

Finablr, which spans brands such as UAE Exchange and Travelex Holdings, said it would intend to have a free float of at least 25 per cent and expected the stock to be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK indices.

“The globalisation of commerce fuelled by mobility, the increasing demand for seamless payments and the creation of connected communities are all structural drivers for growth,” said Promoth Manghat, chief executive.

The group, founded by India-born entrepreneur BR Shetty, operates in cross-border payments, foreign exchange and payments technology. It is licensed in 44 countries with agency relationships in more than 170 countries. In 2018, it processed volumes of $114.5bn.

Finablr said it had an adjusted income growth rate of 6 per cent in 2017, rising to 8.5 per cent in 2018. In 2017, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew by 28.8 per cent and 12.6 per cent in 2018. 

Finablr is 91 per cent owned by Mr Shetty and his family, with two big Abu Dhabi investors owning the remaining 9 per cent. 

In 2012, Mr Shetty took his UAE healthcare business NMC Health public on the LSE. It has grown from a market capitalisation of £390m at the time of the IPO to more than £5.1bn.

Finablr, advised by Evercore, has engaged Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan as global co-ordinators and EFG-Hermes, Merrill Lynch and Numis as bookrunners for the potential IPO.

The plan comes as Dubai-based payments group Network International this week drew strong demand for its IPO in London.

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