Paysafe board recommends £2.96bn offer from CVC and Blackstone

Major payments provider Paysafe is to be acquired by private equity giants CVC and Blackstone after the company’s board gave a great light to the 590p per share offer that was put on the table last month.

The deal values Paysafe at £2.96bn and brings the company, which recently bought affiliate scheme business Income Access, under the ownership of two companies who are increasingly familiar with the gambling industry.

CVC has long been involved with betting and currently has stakes in operators Sky Bet, Sisal and Tipico, while Blackstone has only just secured a £600m deal to buy Clarion Events, organiser of ICE Totally Gaming and several other gambling conferences.

CVC and Blackstone have already agreed to sell off Paysafe Merchant Services – its Asia business – to Spectrum Global Limited in a long-term deal worth around $308m (£234m).

Dennis Jones, Chairman of Paysafe, said: “Paysafe has been on a remarkable journey, undergoing significant transformation and generating substantial shareholder value. The offer from the Consortium represents an opportunity for shareholders to crystallise a certain cash value from their investment in Paysafe. The Paysafe Independent Directors believe that Paysafe will continue to play a key role in payments innovation, leveraging the state of the art technology it has built over a number of years.”

Martin Brand, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, said: “We are delighted that our proposal has been recommended by the Board and excited by the prospect of working with management to develop Paysafe as one of the leading, global providers of online and mobile payment solutions. Paysafe’s innovative alternative payment systems and risk management capabilities form a strong value proposition for consumers and merchants alike. As a leading technology investor, Blackstone believes that Paysafe is an ideal platform for continued innovation in the payments space, and look forward to supporting Paysafe’s growth both organically and through acquisitions.”

Peter Rutland, Partner, Global Co-Head of Financial Services of CVC, added: “Paysafe is an important and innovative online payments partner for merchants and customers across the globe. Our investment experience in financial services, and particularly the payments sector, provides us with the ability to understand and value the company and its future growth. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to invest in Paysafe and look forward to helping support its growth going forwards.”