Oz entrepreneur sells start-up to WorldPay

Kasmira Jefford
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LONDON-based entrepreneur Phil McGriskin (pictured) is set to sell his internet payment business Envoy Services to WorldPay, the global payments provider, in a deal believed to be worth £70m, just five years after launching it.

Australian Phil McGriskin, 37, a surfing fanatic who moved to London in 1996, set up Envoy Services in 2006 with just £750,000 after quitting his career in the city. He has attracted several wealthy angel investors including Sportingbet founder Mark Blandford, who owns 11 per cent of Envoy.

The acquisition by WorldPay is timely, coming just as the new limit for entrepreneurs’ relief on Capital Gains Tax was introduced last month.

In his March budget, chancellor George Osborne announced the doubling of the lifetime limit on “entrepreneurs’ relief” from £5m to £10m from April.

Envoy’s management team could benefit from tax savings of £1.8m each on up to £10m of gains with McGriskin, who owns a majority stake in the business, potentially netting over £35m from the deal before tax.

WorldPay was itself bought six months ago by private equity firms Advent International and Bain Capital from The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Envoy has appointed Rothschild (see below) and Ashurst, the law firm, as advisers whilst FT Advisors and Weil, Gotshal & Manges are advising WorldPay.

McGriskin said: “We are delighted to be joining the WorldPay team and see a unique window of opportunity to create a truly differentiated, market-leading proposition for global merchants.”

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