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Travelex Group
Private limited company
Industry Financial Services
Founded 1976 (1976)
Headquarters London, England
Key people
Lloyd Dorfman (Founder)
Products Foreign exchange
Revenue £721.5 million (2014)
£85.9 million (2014)
Owner Apax Partners, B. R. Shetty and Lloyd Dorfman
Number of employees
6500+ (2012)

Travelex Group is a foreign exchange company founded by Lloyd Dorfman and headquartered in London. Its main businesses are international payments, bureaux de change and issuing prepaid credit cards for use by travellers.[1] It is the world's largest foreign exchange bureau and is a major donor and sponsor of the Royal National Theatre.[2]

In 2007 it proposed a 'space currency' called the Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, as part of a viral marketing campaign.[3]


Travelex was founded by Dorfman, opening its first branch in central London in 1976.[1]

On 8 November 2000 it bought Thomas Cook's worldwide foreign exchange business for £440m, which significantly expanded its international operations.[4]

In February 2005, buy-out firm Apax Partners bought a majority stake in the company, however Dorfman retained 30% and continued to run the business.[5] Ian Meakins was CEO from 2006-2009, before becoming CEO of Wolseley plc.

In early 2010 Travelex disclosed significant losses due to the interest payments on its large debts. It had pulled back from a stock market flotation the year before and said that it was now "considering a range of potential financing structures".[6] Later that year it sold its card programme management division to MasterCard for £290 million to help reduce its debts.[7][8]

On 5 July 2011 Travelex sold its Global Business Payments division to Western Union for £606 million.[9]

By 2012, Travelex had a total workforce in excess of 6,500.[citation needed] By March 2014, Travelex had operations in 27 countries and more than 1,500 stores.[10]

In 2014, Apax Partners sold its majority stake of 51% to UAE based Indian businessman Bavaguthu Shetty valuing the company at approx £1bn. Shetty also owns UAE Exchange a UAE-based money transfer business that operates in 32 countries. Shetty who also owns London-listed NMC Health was supported in acquisition by Abu Dhabi-based investment vehicle Centurion.[11][12] This sale was completed in January 2015[13]


  1. ^ a b Travelex Group information on official website, accessed 5 November 2012.
  2. ^ Brown, Mark "National Theatre's Cottesloe venue to be renamed after £10m donor" The Guardian 28 October 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  3. ^ Travelex (2007). "Travelex Press Release". Travelex. Retrieved October 9, 2007. 
  4. ^ London(Business Wire) (November 8, 2000). "Travelex plc Acquires Thomas Cook Financial Services Division". Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Apax Partners to Buy Majority of Britain's Travelex". Bloomberg. February 28, 2005. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Travelex in race to sort out huge debt". 29 August 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Wilson, Harry (9 December 2010). "MasterCard buys Travelex division for £290m". London: The Telegraph. 
  8. ^ Patricia Kuo (December 10, 2010). "Travelex Loans Rise on Plans to Cut Senior Debt After Unit Sale". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Western Union to Acquire Travelex Global Business Payments". Businesswire. July 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ Travelex. "Travelex Corporate Presentation" (PDF). 2014-03. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  11. ^ "Apax to sell majority stake in Travelex". The Guardian. May 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Travelex shelves IPO during sale talks with UAE buyer". The Telegraph. May 22, 2014. 
  13. ^

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