R-ADAG may pick 50% in UK currency co
Reliance ADAG is close to acquiring 50% stake in a UK-based currency exchange and money transfer firm for an undisclosed amount. This will enable
the Indian company to sell its financial products to the 1.4 million NRI population.
The name of the UK firm is under wraps but a person with knowledge of the development said the target company was recently named as one of the fastest growing firms in the UK with more than 250 outlets.
“It could either be TTT Moneycorp or No1 Currency,’’ he said, adding, the deal will be routed through Wall Street Finance, an Indian public-listed firm that ADAG acquired recently to enter the money transfer business.
TTT Moneycorp is a retail, wholesale and commercial foreign exchange services firm in the UK owned by the Shlewet family trust and backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland while No1 Currency was formed in 1996 and is owned by its two founding partners David Hale and Mark McElney.
Wall Street Finance board director Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who is also the CEO of Reliance Money, declined to comment on the deal.
ADAG’s plans to buy the UK company is in sync with its strategy for a wider distribution of the group’s financial products. Reliance Capital operates the largest asset management firm in the country and is involved in other businesses such as retail brokerage, distribution of insurance products and lending.
In 2008, R-ADAG actively picked equity stakes with international financial services firms. This has come despite the financial services business being the worst hit in the wake of the global credit crisis.
In particular, the group has picked a minority stake in the upcoming commodity exchange in Hong Kong and is in advanced stages of negotiations to pick more than 50% stake in a new commodity and currency trading exchange in Nigeria.
As reported first by ET in its edition dated October 20, 2008, the group is also in the hunt to acquire the Asian assets of US-based insurance firm AIG which was bailed out by the US government in October to prevent it from going bankrupt.
AIG has been looking to sell parts of its businesses and assets to focus on the core general insurance business.