Western Union set to buy Travelex payments unit

US MONEY transfer firm Western Union is in advanced talks to buy a division of British currency exchange Travelex.

Western Union, the world’s largest payment transfer company, is close to buying Travelex’s business payments unit for $1bn (£622m).

Owned by private equity house Apax Partners, Travelex wants to use the proceeds from the sale to pay down debt and to develop its consumer currency exchange business.

The deal to acquire its global business payments unit may be announced as early as this week.

Western Union wants to buy Travelex’s business payments unit, described by the company as the world’s largest non-bank provider of foreign exchange and risk solutions, in order to grow its revenue from corporate transactions overseas.

Apax bought a controlling stake in Travelex in 2005 for more than £1bn.

Travelex declined to comment.