Global Exchange Group To Acquire UK Competitor – (Bloomberg) — Global Exchange Group, a Spanish closely held foreign exchange business, is considering buying U.K. rival International Currency Exchange Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter.
Global Exchange is working with a financial adviser and seeking financing to acquire London-based ICE, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The deal could be valued at about $150 million to $200 million, the people said.
With Europe now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, any deal talks may take longer as the companies focus on assessing and limiting the impact of travel restrictions on their business, the people said. Deliberations are still ongoing and ICE may also draw interest from other parties, the people said.
The Spanish company may use the purchase as a stepping stone to explore options including a potential sale of a stake in the combined business to raise funds and boost growth, the people said. A representative for Global Exchange declined to comment, while a representative for ICE didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
Global Exchange, whose corporate name is Eurodivisas SA, is a family-owned business that traces its roots back to the 19th century and is based in a small town in the Spanish region of Salamanca, near the border with Portugal.
The company started the currency exchange business in 1996. It has more than 310 branches in 21 countries, and over 7 million customers a year, according to its website.
Founded in 1973, ICE opened its first store in London’s Victoria station. It counts more than 350 stores globally and more than 5 million customers a year, according to its website. It’s owned by Lenlyn Holdings Plc, the parent company of Raphaels Bank, the U.K.’s second-oldest independent bank. The bank is currently being wound down.