Payments services company Paysafe Group Plc (LON:PAYS) has announced that it has received final regulatory approvals necessary to move forward with its £2.96 (USD $4.0 billion) buyout by private equity fund groups Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) and CVC Capital Partners.
Barring any last minute unforeseen obstacles, the Blackstone-CVC buyout of Paysafe will close this Wednesday, December 20. Paysafe shares will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange on the same day.
Paysafe operates the Skrill and NETELLER online payments brands, which have become key payment intermediaries for online businesses, including many Retail FX brokers worldwide. Paysafe reported its first $1 billion revenue year in 2016, with top line revenue growth of 63%.
Interestingly, the Paysafe buyout – at 590 pence per share – come almost exactly a year after the company’s shares were hit hard last December, when a report issued by short selling firm Spotlight Research surfaced. The report questioned Paysafe’s ties to one of its largest clients bet365 and its role in facilitating supposedly not-so-legal gaming activities by Chinese clients. Paysafe shares reacted by trading down as much as 38% to just above 300 pence, with Paysafe responding by calling the report inaccurate.
The full announcement made by Paysafe regarding the final regulatory approvals for the Blackstone-CVC buyout reads as follows:
18 December 2017
RECOMMENDED CASH ACQUISITION of PAYSAFE GROUP PLC
PI UK BIDCO LIMITED
a newly formed company jointly-owned by a consortium of funds managed by Blackstone and funds managed and/or advised by CVC (together, the “Consortium”) to be effected by way of a scheme of arrangement under section 152 of the Isle of Man Companies Act 1931
Court sanction of scheme of arrangement and completion of regulatory clearances
The board of Paysafe Group PLC (“Paysafe”) is pleased to announce that approval of the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius was obtained on 15 December 2017 and the High Court of Justice in the Isle of Man has today sanctioned the scheme of arrangement under section 152 of the Isle of Man Companies Act 1931 (the “Scheme”) by which the recommended cash offer by Pi UK Bidco Limited (“Bidco”), a jointly owned subsidiary of the Consortium, for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Paysafe (the “Acquisition”) is being implemented.
Timing of implementation of the Acquisition will be in accordance with the revised timetable announced on 8 December 2017. The Effective Date of the Scheme will be 20 December 2017 and a further announcement shall be made at that time. The Scheme Shareholders who are on the register of members of Paysafe at the Scheme Record Time (being 6.00 p.m. tomorrow, 19 December 2017) will be entitled to receive the offer consideration of 590 pence in cash for each Scheme Share held.
Dealings in Paysafe Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities and the listing of Paysafe Shares on the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority will be suspended with effect from 7.30 a.m. on 20 December 2017; and the delisting of Paysafe Shares from the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and the cancellation of the admission to trading of Paysafe Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities, which have been applied for, will take effect at 8.00 a.m. on 21 December 2017.
Full details of the Acquisition are set out in the scheme document published on 31 August 2017 (the “Scheme Document”). Capitalised terms used but not otherwise defined in this announcement have the meanings given to them in the Scheme Document.