Blackstone Group Consortium Makes Strong Bid for Paysafe

The firm joins the race to acquire payments firms, bidding $3.71 billion as customers move from cash to mobile wallets.

Blackstone Group, along with CVC Capital Partners, has made a $3.71 billion bid for Paysafe Group (LSE:PAYS), a UK-based payment services provider, in a move that is in line with the times as many credit card companies and banks have been targeting payment firms in recent days, according to a CNBC report.

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Paysafe is an obvious target for equity funds and others looking to gain a foothold in the payments industry, as users increasingly shift from using cash to using mobile wallets for making payments for goods and services.

This is an all-cash offer at a 9 per cent premium over the closing price of its shares on Thursday. This translates to 590 pence per share, and as a result the share price has risen by 37 to 579 pence in trading today.

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This comes at a time when Paysafe has entered the US market in a big way by acquiring Delta Card Services, which is the holding company of popular Texas-based payments processor Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions (MCPS).

Growing Frenzy for Payment Firms

It is also a fortnight since the US company Vantiv bought over the UK’s biggest payments processing firm, Worldpay, showing the increasing frenzy to buy payments firms.

Paysafe posted an operating profit of $194.4 million last year and its annual revenue broke through the $1 billion barrier at the same time, giving a glimpse of the growth potential in this industry.

The consortium has some time – until August 18 – to make a firm offer, but considering the potential for accelerated growth in this space and the fact that Paysafe has already been approached by many buyers, it is believed that private equity firms will recognize that firms like Paysafe have higher value than conventional card firms.

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