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Blackstone, CVC make $3.7 billion bid for payments firm Paysafe

  • Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners made a $3.71 billion bid for payments processing company Paysafe Group
  • Payments firms have become targets for credit card companies and banks seeking to capitalize on payment services via smartphones and other mobile devices
Munshi Ahmed | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A consortium of Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners has made a 2.86 billion pound ($3.71 billion) bid for payments processing company Paysafe Group, joining a growing number of deals in the sector.

The 590 pence per share all-cash offer represents a premium of about 9 percent to Paysafe's closing price on Thursday.

In a separate statement, Paysafe said it had also agreed to buy U.S. peer Merchants Choice Payments Solutions for $470 million.

Payments companies have become targets for credit card companies and banks seeking to capitalise on a switch from cash transactions to paying by smartphone or other mobile device.

Recently, U.S. credit card processor Vantiv made a 7.7 billion pounds bid for Britain's Worldpay, while Danish payment services firm Nets A/S revealed it had been approached by potential buyers.

A Worldpay Group Plc card payment machine prints a receipt in a retail outlet.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Worldpay Group Plc card payment machine prints a receipt in a retail outlet.

Paysafe said it had been approached by the consortium made up of funds managed by Blackstone and funds managed by CVC Capital Partners in early May and, after turning down a number of indicative proposals, had granted the bidders due diligence access on the basis of the 590 pence per share proposal.

Paysafe said the proposal represented an about 34 percent premium to its volume weighted average price for the six months to June 30, the day before broad sector consolidation speculation hit the market.

Representatives for Blackstone and CVC were not immediately available to comment.

Old Mutual Global Investors, Paysafe's largest shareholder with a stake of about 10.3 percent in the group, has signed a non-binding letter of support for the possible offer, the group said.

If the deal goes through, Paysafe's entire capital will be incorporated in a newly formed company, with the consortium taking full ownership.

While banks have been trying to develop and buy more sophisticated technology, companies like PayPal and Paysafe have gained a large market share as consumers have adopted online shopping and cashless transactions.