The fast-growing foreign exchange specialist No1 Currency has acquired London firm CAC and six of its branches to become the largest dedicated foreign exchange provider on the UK high street.
The latest transaction crowns a year of rapid expansion and strong turnover growth for No1 Currency. The high street brand, which is owned by the Irish multinational financial services company FEXCO, has grown its UK network by over 40 branches in 2016 alone.
Since acquiring No1 Currency in 2012, FEXCO has continued to expand in the UK through a combination of organic growth and acquisition. Under its No 1 Currency and Currency Exchange Corporation (CEC) brands FEXCO now operates from 104 prime retail and high street locations across the UK – more than any other specialist provider.
The latest acquisition of CAC will further increase the size of FEXCO’s network in the UK and will see the number of customers served rise above 2.5million and annual Retail FX turnover grow to £1billion.
Speaking about the announcement, Joe Redmond, MD of Foreign Exchange Services at FEXCO commented: “The Brexit Referendum has resulted in a decline in M&A activity across the Irish Sea. FEXCO has, however, bucked this trend having successfully completed two UK transactions this year; that of CEC in March 2016 as well as today’s news of the acquisition of CAC. The decline in the value of Sterling in 2016 further improved the attractiveness of both acquisitions into the FEXCO Group.
“FEXCO continues to see the UK Retail FX Market as a very attractive one in which to invest and expand due to its large number of inbound and outbound tourists, its position outside the single currency, its geographical proximity to Ireland its enduring preference for cash.”
“The acquisition of CAC’s well located London branches compliments the acquisition of CEC’s London network earlier this year.”
“The UK economic and currency outlook and the demand for travel and travel-related financial services in 2017 are, as yet, unclear but all the signs at this stage suggest we can look forward to strong performance from our enlarged UK retail network.”
CAC Managing Director Marc Gershon added: “The combination is a great fit, and this is a win-win for everyone. We can offer additional services for customers, while being part of a bigger group is great for staff career development with a market leading brand.”
BCMS acted exclusively for CAC, and Deal Leader Nick Lankester added: “With a track record of offering some of the best high street exchange rates in the country and a 150,000-strong customer base, CAC was clearly going to be an attractive proposition for a sector undergoing significant consolidation.”
“This was a complex transaction which completed fairly quickly, demonstrating the good relationship developed between buyer and seller during early negotiations. We’re delighted to have played a part in creating a new market leader in high street foreign exchange, and wish both sides well for the future.”
Guvvy Sandhu, Partner at Continuum Corporate Lawyers LLP who provided the legal support to CAC commented: “In light of the current economic turbulence, it was pleasing to see a commercial approach taken by all parties.”
FEXCO was advised by its in-house legal team, FEXCO Group Legal.
Following completion of the acquisition of CAC, FEXCO’s branch network in the UK will grow to 104 with staff numbers set to increase to more than 400 by the end of the year.