Fexco, Ireland’s most successful independent multinational financial services provider, has today announced its fifth and largest ever corporate transaction in the UK with the acquisition of London based specialist foreign exchange company, CEC. The acquisition will see CEC’s 36 London branches become part of Fexco’s Retail Foreign Exchange operation that trades as No1 Currency in the UK and Ireland.
Since the acquisition of Edinburgh-headquartered, No1 Currency by Fexco in 2012, a further 39 locations have been added to the UK network through a combination of acquisition and organic growth. An additional 20 new branch openings are planned this year. The acquisition of CEC will see the network grow to 110 branches by the end 2016 with staff numbers set to increase to 400.
Fexco’s Retail Foreign Exchange business is the original and fastest growing business unit in the Fexco Group today and is on track this year to serve 1.5million customers and handle foreign currency volumes approaching £1bn.
Joe Redmond, MD of Foreign Exchange Services at Fexco, comments, “Today’s news marks another significant milestone for Fexco as we continue our expansion into the UK. This acquisition positions Fexco as owners of the largest independent Retail Foreign Exchange business in the UK, quite an achievement in such a short period of time.
“The UK foreign exchange market is still the most attractive in the world with approximately £9billion worth of foreign currency changed by FX operators annually on behalf of customers. CEC has developed a prominent position in the London market and a very strong reputation amongst customers based on value and service, two core values which are also very important to Fexco making this acquisition a natural fit for us.
“Cash continues to feature prominently in the Travel Money portfolio of most overseas travelers, and while competition is intense, our combination of competitive rates and convenient locations will ensure we continue to succeed in the UK market. In addition to our retail branch network, we are also actively promoting and supporting the gradual migration by customers towards digital channels, a key initiative which forms part of Fexco Group’s innovation agenda, and so we are also making significant investments in our online service offerings.
“This latest acquisition reflects Fexco’s confidence in Retail Foreign Exchange as an attractive industry for the Group to continue investing in and we are very pleased to welcome Mike Cooke, and his team, into the Fexco Group.”
Founder and Chairman of CEC Mike Cooke comments, “The growth of CEC, from a single location in 1999 to a 36-branch network today, is testament to the vision and commitment of our team and today’s announcement is a significant next step forward for the company. Without doubt, Fexco will prove an excellent partner for CEC and together, we can truly become a major force in the UK market. I greatly look forward to working with the team from Fexco as part of this exciting venture.”
Currently 80% of Fexco’s No1 Currency branches are in prominent high street locations with the remainder located in shopping centres. In addition to expanding its high street presence, Fexco Group is investing significantly in its online proposition, operating the only Travel Money Home Delivery Service in Ireland as well as online Click & Collect and Click & Sell services, which allow customers to pre-order and pre-sell their currency online and collect at their local branch.
Fexco also sells foreign currency through a network of over 500 affiliated agents and partners in the UK and Ireland, including most Irish Credit Unions.