Skrill hires bankers for its planned $250m initial public offering in April

 
Stephen Dinneen
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NE payments provider Skrill plans to raise around $250m (£154m) from a London listing in April.

It hopes to boost the group’s profile and help fund its expansion into new products and locations.

It has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jefferies and Morgan Stanley to advise it of its flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

Skrill, which operates online payments system Moneybookers.com, said that as well as existing shares it will sell around £80m of new shares.

A final pricing is expected in mid to late April. The company, which has more than 15m registered users and mainly operates in Europe, said it was well placed to grow in developing countries and also hopes to expand its US business.

Skrill said it would consider acquiring internet or mobile-based payment providers, as well as technology businesses which would help expand its product base or geographical reach.

Last month, Skrill appointed Bob Wigley as chairman ahead of the possible flotation. Wigley, the current chairman of directories group Yell Group, was chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe until January 2009.

The firm, majority owned by private equity group Investcorp Technology Partners, said it had grown its revenues from €33.8m (£29m) in 2008, to €66.7m in 2010, a compound annual growth rate of 40 per cent.

RAPHAEL GRUNSCHLAG

BOA MERRILL LYNCH

HEADING up the team for Bank of America Merrill Lynch is Raphael Grunschlag. He was previously director of investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston.

Over his career Grunschlag has worked on transactions with Dassault Systemes, KVS, 123multimedia, Riverdeep, SAP, Yahoo and Verisign.

Also on the team for BoA Merrill Lynch are Craig Coben and George Close-Brooks.

Leading the advisory team for Jefferies is Dominic Lester, who was appointed managing director and head of European technology and telecoms investment banking last September. Lester joined Jefferies from UBS, where he spent nearly 20 years.

Head of UK investment banking Simon Smith is leading the team for Morgan Stanley. He took over the role from Brian Magnus, who was promoted to co-head of the bank’s private equity business in Europe.

Smith was formerly deputy head of European investment banking at Morgan Stanley.

He is joined on the advisory team by Sumit Pandey, a managing director in the investment banking team. Pandey specialises in financial technology and payments as well as communications and internet firms.