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updated: 7/5/2011 8:17 AM

Western Union to buy Travelex unit for nearly $1B

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Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Western Union says it has agreed to acquire Travelex Global Business Payments for about $973.8 million in cash, in a deal that will allow it to expand rapidly in the business of international payment processing.

The Travelex division provides international payments services to business clients, mostly small and medium-sized companies and distribution partners.

The deal announced Tuesday is valued at 606 million pounds. It is expected to boost Western Union's earnings by 2 cents per share this year and 4 cents per share in 2012. The companies expect the deal will close later this year.

The Western Union Co. is based in Englewood, Colorado. Travelex is based in London and is a unit of Travelex Holdings Ltd.

Western Union shares slipped 19 cents to $20.05 in premarket trading.