Mumbai, Apr 3 (PTI) Diversified financial services player Centrum Group has decided to exit the forex business under brand name Centrum Direct by selling it to Atlanta-based Ebix Inc for around Rs 1,200 crore.
Nasdaq-listed Ebix has over 50 offices across five continents and offers on-demand software and e-commerce services to insurance, financial and healthcare industries.
As part of the deal, the entire Centrum Direct team and assets will be transferred to Ebix and will become a part of EbixCash, an end-to-end financial exchange, the Jaspal Bindra-led company said in a statement today.
The deal, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is expected to be closed in 60 days.
It can be noted that in 2017, Centrum had divested 18.5 per cent of its stake in Centrum Direct to a group of private equity investors including Jacob Ballas, New York Life and Evolvence.
City-based Centrum Direct, which handled transactions worth Rs 10,000 crore in FY18, has a customer base of over 3 million and offers services like sale and purchase of forex, overseas remittances, travel cards and travelers cheques.
It operates 165 outlets in 55 cities and is the largest airport forex player with a presence in 24 domestic airports.
Commenting on the sale, group chairman Jaspal Bindra said though the money exchange business has seen sustained growth, consolidation and margin pressures are expected to be major disruptors in this business as more customers opt to do digital transactions.
"The proceeds from the sale will provide us with a significant resource base to strengthen our core businesses of wealth management, institutional and retail broking, investment banking, insurance and lending verticals along with identifying strategic opportunities for growth," he said.
Robin Raina, chairman of Ebix, said, "The acquisition provides us with new abilities in niche financial exchange sectors while expanding our footprint in India. We have been eager to take up a strong position in Indias airports and shipping ports." PTI BEN SS SS