Bidding for Global Refund hots up

Second round bids for Global Refund mean Apax Partners should see its money back on one of its older investments as rival buyout houses line up.

Four bidders are expected make offers for Global Refund, which runs a service that enables travellers to claim back tax on purchases, as the second round deadline looms tomorrow.

A source close to the auction said bidders for the business owned by Apax Partners include Barclays Private Equity, HgCapital and Macquarie. Its private equity owner has put a price tag on the company of around €400 million ($523 million).

Apax appointed corporate finance house Hawkpoint to advise on a strategic review earlier this summer.

The European buyout firm backed a $160m (€119m) management buyout of Global Refund from US conglomerate Cendant Corporation in 1999.

Apax bought the business with privately owned Irish-based financial services group Fexco, which is owned by the Kerry-based entrepreneur Brian McCarthy. Apax has a majority stake in Global Refund, while McCarthy has sold his stake.