Financial payments firm sold for €170m

A Galway-based financial payments company has been bought for €170m by Exponent Private Equity following six months of negotiations.

Fintrax, head-quartered in Ballinahown, Co Galway, was hotly sought, with no less than 10 fully funded bids being made for the group.

CEO of Fintrax, Catríona O’Farrell, welcomed the takeover of the company by Exponent, from the Barry family trust and the Fintrax management.

“We are delighted to have the support of Exponent in what is a very exciting period of development for the company. Fintrax’ success to date is both a testament to our staff and to the company’s ability to cultivate creative and innovative technology for merchants. This investment will propel Fintrax onto the next stage of our plan for growth and development,” she said.

The new owners of the company are backing the existing management team who are all re-investing in the deal. In addition, Exponent has appointed John Moore as chairman, a former Dell executive.

The Fintrax Group specialises in payment solutions for banks, merchants and tourists. The company offers two principle services under the brands, ¥€$ Dynamic Currency Conversion and Premier Tax Free.

Trading under the ¥€$ brand, Fintrax Payment Systems is the international payments company within the Fintrax Group.

The area of the company that is being viewed as the engine for future growth is the Premier Tax. Premier Tax is one of only two companies in the world who provide a Vat refund service to tourists for the main luxury brands all round the globe, including Lacoste, Karen Millen, Ferrari and Ralph Lauren.

In 2011, this section of the company handled nearly four million Vat refund vouchers returning over €225m in refunds to international customers of global merchants.

Premier Tax Free services over 80,000 retailers worldwide.

The only other company in the world providing this niche payment service, Global Blue was bought by Silver Lake and Partners Group for a €1bn in May.

Partner at Exponent, Richard Lenane said Fintrax is embedded in the parts of the world that are growing: “Fintrax enjoys exposure to some of the fastest growing segments of the global economy and as such represents an exciting investment for Exponent.”


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