Investcorp buys Austrian online firm Paysafecard for up to £113m

City A.M. Reporter
INVESTCORP, a Bahrain-based investment firm, said yesterday its online portfolio unit Skrill has bought Austrian firm for up to €140m (£113m), betting on growth in the online retail sector.

Paysafecard provides prepaid electronic payment services and the acquisition is Investcorp’s fifth investment in Europe in the past six months, the Bahraini firm said in a bourse statement.

“Prudent investors are finding golden opportunities that have emerged post the Eurozone crisis, as reflected in our five acquisitions so far this year,” Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Investcorp’s president for Gulf business said.

Venture capitalists invested a record $2.39bn (£1.52bn) in online retail in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data, more than double the amount in 2010.

Skrill, formerly known as Moneybookers, provides global online payments services.

The combined group will potentially have 27m end-users and over 100 different payment options, the statement said.

Investcorp, which once owned luxury brands Gucci and Tiffany & Co, last month signed up to a $504m-equivalent loan aimed at refinancing debt due in 2013.

The company had around $11.6bn in assets under management as at 31 December 2011.

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