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Two Firms Guide Western Union’s Business Solutions Unit Sale

Aug. 6, 2021, 10:56 AM

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Western Union Co. on its agreement to sell the company’s global business solutions division to two private equity firms for around $910 million.

Skadden Arps said it’s advising the private equity firms, Boston-based Baupost Group and Seattle-based Goldfinch Partners.

The private equity firms are acquiring Western Union’s Custom House and Travelex units, which provide cross-border, cross-currency payments and foreign exchange for small- and medium-sized businesses and other organizations, according to a statement.

Hikmet Ersek, CEO of the financial services multinational, told Bloomberg TV Thursday that the divestiture frees his company to increase its focus on the consumer remittance market “worth over $700 billion.”

He also said Western Union will be able to focus on transactions between consumers and business, a market worth potentially $2 trillion.

“We are building a unique platform that allows connecting about 200 countries, 37 currencies, in a very agile and fast way,” Ersek said.

The statement says the transaction is expected to close in two stages, in early and late 2022.

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rmitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com
To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com