April 16, 2019 / 7:01 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 2-UAE's Finablr to list on London Stock Exchange

* Listing expected in May

* Looks to sell at least 25 percent of its equity

* Confirms plans to raise $200 mln from sale of new stock (Adds company comment, background on European IPO market)

By Justin George Varghese

April 16 (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates-based payments and foreign exchange company Finablr has confirmed plans to proceed with an initial public offer (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange , a week after the company revealed it was considering a flotation.

Finablr, whose brands include UAE Exchange, Travelex Holdings and Xpress Money, said on Tuesday the final offer price would be determined following a book-building process, with the listing expected in May.

Finablr said it was planning to raise $200 million from the sale of new stock, with some existing shares also being offered for sale. It plans to sell at least 25 percent of its equity.

Sources had earlier told Reuters the company intends to raise a total of about $500 million from the offering. The sale prospectus is expected to be published on or around May 1.

“We are delighted to be announcing our intention to float Finablr on the London Stock Exchange,” said Binay Shetty, executive director. “Over the last four decades we have built global assets firmly rooted across the payments and foreign exchange markets.”

The move follows Middle East payments firm Network International listing in London last week, while Italian payments firm Nexi is due to debut in Milan this week with a valuation of 5.7 billion euros ($6.4 billion).

The deals could help end a drought in the European IPO market, which has seen proceeds slump to $292 million in the first three months of 2019 from $13.9 billion a year ago, Refinitiv data shows.

Payments processing assets have become highly sought after as consumers worldwide switch to digital from cash, commanding impressive valuations for companies in the sector.

The Finablr network has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries and manages $114.5 billion in annual volumes for its clients as of December. Its biggest markets are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The holding company Finablr will become the umbrella for United Arab Emirates-based business tycoon and founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty’s financial service brands.

Shetty, UAE Exchange’s biggest shareholder, bought UK-based Travelex in January 2015 for 800 million pounds ($1.1 billion). He took another company he founded, NMC Health, public on the LSE in 2012. Like NMC Health, Finablr will have its headquarters in the UAE.

JPMorgan, Barclays and Goldman Sachs are global coordinators for the deal. Bookrunners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EFG Hermes and Numis . Evercore is acting as financial adviser.

$1 = 0.8847 euros Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru Editing by Bernard Orr and David Holmes

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