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French group Edenred invests in U.S. start-up payments firm Candex

PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) - French pre-paid meal voucher and card provider company Edenred has bought a stake in Candex, a U.S. start-up electronics payments firm, Edenred said on Thursday.

Edenred said its investment formed part of a $3.5 million fundraising round for Candex, in order to finance Candex's development.

The electronics payments industry has been steadily growing around the world, and recent deals in the sector have included Vantiv's $10 billion takeover of Worldpay and Hellman & Friedman's acquisition of Nets.

In February, Edenred handed investors a 37 percent dividend hike and delivered record 2017 earnings, and the company's shares have hit all-time highs this year. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas)