Carlyle, Accel back OzForex

The private equity firms are bolstering their Australian assets with a minority stake, estimated worth $60m to $80m, in the online foreign exchange service provider.

The Carlyle Group and Silicon Valley-based technology investor Accel Partners have invested an undisclosed sum to buy a minority stake in OzForex Group. Media reports have pegged the deal size at between $60 million and $80 million.

The OzForex Group, an online foreign exchange payments company operating under the OzForex, UKForex, CanadianForex, and NZForex country brands, said in a statement it would use the fresh capital to expand its operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

The deal size and shareholding structure agreed were not disclosed, although the statement noted that the company's founders and Macquarie Private Wealth, the portfolio management unit of Macquarie Group, will retain majority ownership. Rpresentatives from both Accel and Carlyle will have a seat on the OzForex board.
Carlyle, Macquarie Private Wealth declined to comment beyond prepared statements. Accel declined to confirm the transaction value.

This was not Carlyle’s first joint effort for an Australian asset this year. In September, the firm’s A$2.7 billion proposal to buy Australian hospital chain Healthscope alongside TPG finally met regulatory approval after the duo emerged winners of a private equity bidding war which began in May this year. Other suitors in that deal had included KKR, CVC Asia Pacific and The Blackstone Group. The deal remains unresolved at the time of writing.

The investment also marks Accel’s second transaction in Australia. In July, the firm invested $60 million for a minority stake in Sydney-based software development tools maker Atlassian. 

Accel partner Ryan Sweeney said that Asia was looking increasingly attractive from an investor's perspective and that he viewed “Sydney as a gateway to Asia”,  although there are no plans to set up office in the country as yet. The firm currently has more than $6 billion-worth of assets under management.