Advent Wraps Up Two Mexico Deals

Latin America Money Services LLC (LAMS), a holding company formed by Boston-based Advent International, has acquired 100% of Consultoria Internacional Casa de Cambio SA de CV (CISA), an independent currency exchange firm in Mexico.

In a related transaction, LAMS also purchased the controlling interest in IFS International Money Exchange Corp. (IFMX), a U.S. company focused on inter-bank and corporate segments of the currency exchange market.

Advent acquired CISA from the Mexican financial group Ixe Grupo Financiero SA de CV, and bought its stake in IFMX from IFS International, a Texas-based financial services firm. The firm did not disclose terms of either transaction.

CISA, based in Mexico City, operates 49 currency exchange agencies across Mexico, and divides its business activities into retail currency exchange, corporate money services and inter-bank trading and corporate money services between Mexico and the U.S.

Alfredo Alfaro, a director in Advent’s Mexico City office, said he believes both CISA and IFMX are poised for expansion due to growth in international trade.

He added that Advent will take particular advantage of three of its other Mexican-based portfolio companies to grow CISA. Both Immobilaria Fumisa SA de CV and Aeroplazas de Mexico SA de CV manage commercial and office space at international airports throughout Mexico. Through these, CISA will have access to retail locations in many Mexican airports.

Meanwhile, a third company, Aeroboutiques de Mexico SA de CV operates duty-free and duty-paid shops at airports and resorts. CISA will offer it competitive currency exchange rates, and benefit by having the duty-free operator as a customer, Alfaro said.

Moreover, CISA plans to broaden its network of retail offices by opening new branches and acquiring smaller independent currency exchange firms. IFMX will continue its strategy of expanding its client base of companies in both Mexico and the U.S. And by acquiring companies, LAMS is seeking to diversify into other financial services, such as money transfer and insurance distribution.