Paysafe board unanimously recommends Blackstone and CVC's £2.96bn takeover offer


The pair of private equity houses launched their bid last month (Source: Getty)

Paysafe, the London-listed digital payments business, looks set to be acquired by private equity giants CVC and Blackstone.

The company's board announced this morning that it had agreed on the terms of the 590p per share offer which the private equity consortium made last month, and unanimously recommends that shareholders accept the offer.

It values Paysafe at £2.96bn, which is a premium of approximately 34 per cent to the average share price in the six months before the offer.

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CVC and Blackstone have already agreed to sell off Paysafe's Asia business, Paysafe Merchant Services Limited, to Spectrum Global Limited. The deal is expected to be for around $308m (£234.23m), payable over six years.

Although not yet completed, the pair of private equity buyers seem to have the Paysafe acquisition in the bag. Chief executive Joel Leonoff and chief financial officer Brian McArthur-Muscroft have already irrevocably agreed to sell their stakes, while Old Mutual Global Investors and Threadneedle Asset Management – who together own around 11.94 per cent of PaySafe – have sent letters of intent to accept the offer.

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Blackstone, which has assets under management of around $371bn, and CVC, whose portfolio of companies generates annual sales of around $55bn, are the latest in a string of private equity firms to pick up a digital payments business.

Nordic Capital sold Swedish payments processor Bambora earlier this year, making more than five times its money invested, while Advent International and Bain Capital are currently building up German business Concardis.

"Merger and acquisition activity in this sector is ramping up, with payments firms becoming hot property as cash is progressively replaced by digital payment methodologies and firms come under increasing pressure to consolidate, seeking cost efficiencies to mitigate the pressures of increasing regulatory scrutiny and growing competition," said Peter Gray, partner and joint head of financial services at Cavendish Corporate Finance.