April 3, 2018 / 9:59 AM / 18 days ago

India's Centrum Group to sell money exchange business to U.S.-based Ebix

(Reuters) - India’s Centrum Capital Ltd (CENC.BO) said on Tuesday its parent Centrum Group had agreed to sell its money exchange business, Centrum Direct, to U.S.-based Ebix Inc (EBIX.O) for about 12 billion rupees ($184.6 million).

The entire Centrum Direct team and assets will be transferred to Ebix and will become a part of the Atlanta-based company’s financial exchange business EbixCash, Centrum Capital said in a statement.

Consolidation and margin pressures are expected to be major disruptors in the money exchange business and Ebix has right technological capabilities to make an ideal home for Centrum Direct, said Jaspal Bindra, executive chairman, Centrum Group.

The sale follows Centrum’s divestment of an 18.5 percent stake in the Centrum Direct to a group of private equity investors in 2017.

Centrum Direct, a major airport forex player with presence at 24 Indian airports, handled transactions worth 100 billion rupees in 2017-18 and has a customer base of over 3 million as on date, the company said.

Shares of Centrum Capital rose as much as 10.5 percent in Mumbai market .BSESN, which was up 0.12 percent.

    Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Gopakumar Warrier

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