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Wright Express Buys Palamon's ReD Australian Arm For EUR243 Million

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Palamon Capital Partners Friday said it has sold the Australian units of Retail Decisions to U.S. payment processing company Wright Express Corp. (WXS) for EUR243 million. U.K.-based Retail Decisions, or ReD, specializes in payment processing and payment fraud prevention. It was taken private by Palamon in December 2006. Its Australian businesses comprise ReD Fuel and ReD Prepaid, with combined revenue of EUR40 million. Proceeds from this transaction will be used to repay all of ReD's debt and to make payments to shareholders. Palamon and its co-investors, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and AlpInvest Partners NV, will receive a payment roughly equivalent to their initial investment and will retain their controlling ownership in ReD. Wright Express provides payment processing and information management services to the U.S. commercial and government fleet industry. Its acquisition of ReD Fuel and ReD Prepaid is part of its diversification strategy to reduce reliance on its fleet card business. "This transaction is a great outcome for Palamon, ReD and the management and employees of the Australian businesses," said Jaime-Enrique Hugas, a principal at Palamon. "Following this transaction, we will continue to build out ReD's fast-growing payment fraud prevention business by penetrating new markets and customer sectors," he added. Following the sale of the Australian businesses, ReD will consist of payment fraud prevention and processing business active in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and South Africa. -By Marietta Cauchi, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9241;

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