Scotts Group sells 10% Fintrax stake in major deal

Scotts Group chief executive Asad Jumabhoy said the group is expanding its business and investment portfolio.
Scotts Group chief executive Asad Jumabhoy said the group is expanding its business and investment portfolio.

The Singapore-based Scotts Group has sold its shares worth $87.5 million in a global financial services company that is being bought out.

The firm is selling its stake of around 10 per cent in Fintrax Group, one of the world's biggest providers of value added tax (VAT) refunding services, to private equity firm Eurazeo.

Exponent Private Equity, the majority owner of Fintrax, is also selling its holding to Eurazeo. The total deal size is €585 million (S$875.10 million), with the transaction set to be completed by month's end.

Market sources says it's a good deal as the value of Fintrax has more than doubled since 2012.

VAT refunding service providers like Fintrax help international tourists reclaim the tax they pay for purchases at partner merchants.

The Scotts Group invests in and operates a portfolio of financial technology, real estate and sports-related businesses.

Scotts Group founder and chief executive Asad Jumabhoy, 56, has been Fintrax's vice-chairman since September 2013 and played a major role in the Irish-based firm's growth.

The company, which operates in 31 countries via subsidiary Premier Tax Free, boasts revenue growth of over 20 per cent annually. In the 12 months to July this year, turnover was €198 million.

Mr Jumabhoy is chairman of IDA International, a subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority formed to oversee collaborations with other countries.

He is also a veteran of the VAT refund industry, having set up Global Refund in 1999.

Global Refund built a network across 40 countries and had the largest market share in the world.

It was rebranded as Global Blue in 2010 and sold to private equity firm Silver Lake in 2012.

The Fintrax sale lifts The Scotts Group's transactions in the tax refund industry to a total €2.3 billion over the past two decades.

Mr Jumabhoy said yesterday: "Our successful track record reflects our first-mover position in the tax refund business and more importantly, the foresight to capitalise on the opportunity by going global.

"We achieved this through the transaction with Global Blue and now Fintrax. Against this positive backdrop we aim to harness our expertise to create new best practices and impart greater value for each organisation we take ownership in."

He added that Scotts Group is expanding its business and investment portfolio as it embraces opportunities in the digital space.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2015, with the headline 'Scotts Group sells 10% Fintrax stake in major deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe