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Foresight agrees conditional sale of Ixaris, an award-winning leader in B2B travel payment technology, to Nium, a global B2B payments platform

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  • Ixaris is an internationally recognised payments technology market leader with established partnerships with both Visa and Mastercard
  • The fourth successful exit for Foresight’s Private Equity team in the last twelve months

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London 7th June 2021: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading UK listed infrastructure and specialist regional private equity investment manager, is pleased to announce the conditional sale of Ixaris Group Holdings Limited (“Ixaris” or “the Company”), a leader in travel payment technology, to Nium Pte. Limited (“Nium”), a leading global B2B payments platform based in Singapore.

Ixaris’ main product is a pre-paid debit card providing flexible funding and payment methods. It was the first to be introduced across Europe in 2003 and revolutionised the travel payments industry. Ixaris has clients in over 50 countries, ranging from the World’s largest travel brands to independent travel agencies. Its products enable clients to manage spend and potentially boost margins by up to 20% by reducing surcharges, earning rebates, flattening FX fees and streamlining reconciliations. Since inception, more than 24 million transactions have completed for 200+ clients, with a total payment volume of more than £5bn. In 2019 alone, more than 10 million virtual cards were issued.

Nium and Ixaris are complementary businesses and by joining forces they will be able to create a modern solution that combines Ixaris’ leading virtual card capability with Nium’s advanced pay-in, pay-out and embedded foreign exchange capabilities. Nium’s support will enable Ixaris to expand into new sectors and geographies to further strengthens its position within the travel industry. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the Q3 2021.

Since the original investment in March 2006, Foresight has taken a proactive approach to supporting the senior management team, including helping to recruit Spencer Hanlon in December 2020, a travel industry executive with over 25 years’ experience, formerly the Managing Director at AirPlus International. Foresight also helped the business establish partnerships with Visa and Mastercard, as well as navigate a complex regulatory landscape post-Brexit by becoming dual regulated in Malta and the UK. The Company’s rapid growth has seen headcount increase from less than a dozen on investment to 86 full time employees today.

This successful sale to Nium further consolidates Foresight’s credentials as an experienced technology investor for fintech companies requiring early stage support and advice as they expand into new markets. This transaction represents the fourth successful realisation by Foresight’s Private Equity team in the last 12 months, including a 6.1x return on ecommerce business Clubhouse Golf, cementing its position as one of the most active SME investors in the UK market.

Spencer Hanlon, Executive Chair of Ixaris, said: “Foresight have been a fantastic value add investor who have helped Ixaris deliver this successful outcome during challenging times.”

Stephan Gueorguiev, Investment Director at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to have worked with the Ixaris management team to help build a fast growing payments platform at international scale.”

Foresight and the other shareholders were advised by Shoosmiths.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Citigate (PR to Foresight):

Patricia De Bidegain: foresight@citigatedewerogerson.com / +44 (0) 7921 353 825

Will Easton: foresight@citigatedewerogerson.com / +44 (0) 7860 753146

 

Notes to Editors

 

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager listed on the London Stock Exchange, which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.

Foresight has more than £7 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising over 30 investment professionals, manages over £700 million in a portfolio of more than 100 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.

Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.  In 2017, Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.

Foresight’s largest office is in London with regional UK offices in Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Edinburgh and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Luxembourg.

www.foresightgroup.eu