As far as large value mergers and acquisitions are concerned, today’s announcement that Optimal Payments Plc (LON:OPAY) is to acquire Sentinel Topco Limited and its subsidiaries (“Skrill” or “Skrill Group”) from Sentinel Group Holdings in the form of a reverse takeover, is a very large milestone.
Just hours after the announcement, shares in Optimal Payments have rallied by a remarkable 32%, clearly demonstrating the confidence in the economy of scale that this union will create.
Skrill, founded in 2001, has provided e-commerce services to a vast number of FX brokerages worldwide, in its present guise and under its previous brand name, Moneybookers.
The moneybookers.com website along with the online payment system was launched on 1 April 2002. Almost 2 million new users registered with Moneybookers in the initial 1.5 years of operation, and by September 2008, Moneybookers claimed to operate in all countries of the world and handle over 5.5 million accounts.
Aside from being a very popular payment method among FX brokerages wishing to attract clients from across the world, Skrill is a big name in the gaming arena, having been approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) as the only sanctioned digital wallet for New Jersey internet gambling.
In March 2007, Moneybookers was bought by Investcorp Technology Partners for €105 million and as of 9 March 2009, it was put up for sale by its owners for an estimated £365 million, whilst in themselves large sums, show the gulf between today’s value, a remarkable increase in just six years.
Online payments in the FX industry are, as with most global online businesses, a critical part of the transaction chain, thus a veritable giant has been created with this acquisition, met with the firm confidence of investors and shareholders.
Chart courtesy of Google Finance