Leading Brit-Indian entrepreneur sells his firm for over £200mn

Monday 17th August 2015 11:28 EDT

A Brit-Indian entrepreneur who launched his currency trading business with only £4250 of start up capital, is said to have sold his firm to private equity bidders, with a transaction value of over £200 mn.

Mayank B Patel OBE, who founded Currencies Direct in 1996, after a stint as a City trader, has sold the business to Palamon Capital Partners, a pan-European growth investor, and Corsair Capital, a leading private equity investor in global financial services. Currencies Direct, is a leading specialist provider of foreign exchange and international payment solutions to private and corporate clients.

The acquisition is structured so that Currencies Direct management will increase its ownership position in the company and will also include continuing equity participation by the firm’s principal founder, Mr Patel, who will become Honorary President.

Mr Patel, 47, who was born in Zambia and is of Indian-Gujarati descent, was made an OBE last year.

Currencies Direct’s Private FX segment provides foreign exchange services to more than 150,000 registered retail clients. Its Corporate FX segment offers foreign exchange services to small medium enterprise clients for import / export-related activities across a variety of industries, including the e-commerce segment.

The Company distributes its products and services through a multi-channel distribution network, which includes a strong network of affiliate partnerships. Currencies Direct has established market presences in the UK, Continental Europe, Australia, South Africa and the US, and is well positioned to continue to expand internationally. The retail and SME FX market is worth over £3 billion in the UK alone.

The specialist segment of the foreign exchange services industry is expected to grow around twice as fast as the average for the overall industry, as retail and SME customers continue to shift away from banks for their foreign exchange needs. With its superior high touch customer service and competitive pricing, Currencies Direct is well positioned to continue to benefit from this long-term industry trend.

Mayank B Patel OBE said, "I am proud of what Currencies Direct has achieved over the last 20 years and am confident that, given the strength of the management team and the value added expertise of Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital, the business will continue to take advantage of the growth prospects in the sector. I am delighted I will be part of Currencies Direct future as a shareholder and Honorary President."

The transaction is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2015 and is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and other conditions.  

Mr Patel lives with his wife, Jigna, and their children, Rhea and Kush in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

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