Western Union is to acquire the money transfer business of European agent Fexco for a net cash payment of $159.5 million.
Fexco currently manages and provides all services and support to more than 10,000 consumer-facing locations in seven European countries: the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
As part of the deal, Western Union will surrender its 25% stake in the non-money transfer business of Fexco.
Western Union says the acquisition will position the company to take advantage of the November introduction of the EC-mandated Payment Services Directive and enter new markets, introduce new products and services, and expand the type of agents to new classes of trade in certain countries.
Western Union president and CEO Christina Gold says: "This transaction will give us greater management of our distribution in these regions and create a more flexible and responsive operational structure as we anticipate the coming regulatory changes to the money transfer business in Europe."
Approximately 300 Fexco employees will join Western Union upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2009. Fexco will continue to support Western Union through its call centres located in Killorglin and Cahirciveen, Ireland, and be responsible for those employees.