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Travelex Group
Private limited company
IndustryFinancial Services
Founded1976 (1976)
Key people
Lloyd Dorfman (Founder)
ProductsForeign exchange
Revenue£721.5 million (2014)
£85.9 million (2014)
OwnerApax 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 as well as global remittances.[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, and opened 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.[6]

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".[7] Later that year it sold its card programme management division to MasterCard for £290 million to help reduce its debts.[8][9]

On 5 July 2011 Travelex sold its Global Business Payments division to Western Union for £606 million.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12][13] This sale was completed in January 2015.[14]


  1. ^ a b Travelex Group information on official website, accessed 5 November 2012. Archived 19 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  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. ^ Richard Blackden (23 May 2009). "Travelex founder takes charge again". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Travelex in race to sort out huge debt". 29 August 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  8. ^ Wilson, Harry (9 December 2010). "MasterCard buys Travelex division for £290m". London: The Telegraph.
  9. ^ Patricia Kuo (December 10, 2010). "Travelex Loans Rise on Plans to Cut Senior Debt After Unit Sale". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  10. ^ "Western Union to Acquire Travelex Global Business Payments". Businesswire. July 5, 2011.
  11. ^ Travelex. "Travelex Corporate Presentation" (PDF). 2014-03. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  12. ^ "Apax to sell majority stake in Travelex". The Guardian. May 23, 2014.
  13. ^ "Travelex shelves IPO during sale talks with UAE buyer". The Telegraph. May 22, 2014.
  14. ^

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