Bridgepoint buys Moneycorp for £212m

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PRIVATE equity firm Bridgepoint, which owns Leeds-Bradford Airport, has bought British foreign exchange provider Moneycorp for £212m, the fund said yesterday.

Moneycorp is owned by SOF Investments, which was spun out of Royal Bank of Scotland in 2013 as part of the state-owned bank’s plans to shed non-core divisions.

Moneycorp focuses on both small businesses and private consumers through services that include an online payments and telephone platform, as well as bureaux de change at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

The group is aiming for a bigger share of the foreign currency and money transfer business, where banks have traditionally been major players.

Last year, the firm bought Thomas Cook’s corporate forex business. Moneycorp had gross income of £97.2m in 2013 and handled more than £10bn of currency trades across almost 100 currencies.

Bridgepoint, which also has investments in cafe chain Pret A Manger and clothing retailer FatFace, was advised by DC Advisory. SOF Investments was advised by Canaccord Genuity.

Bridgepoint acquired Leeds Bradford Airport in 2007, following a decision by five West Yorkshire councils to privatise the airport in order to help it grow. In 2012, the airport completed a £11m upgrade to its terminal and introduced a range of new routes.