Analysis & Comment

Paysafe to go public via $9 billion deal with Bill Foley-backed SPAC

FILE PHOTO: Jun 21, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley arrives on the red carpet before the 2017 NHL Awards and Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) – A blank-check acquisition firm backed by veteran investor Bill Foley said on Monday it had agreed to merge with Paysafe Group Holdings Ltd, valuing the payments platform at around $9 billion, including debt.

Paysafe’s merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp II will result in the London-based company listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PSFE”.

The appeal of financial technology companies as acquisition targets has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people shop online and make more of their payments digitally.

The deal marks a return to the stock market for Paysafe, which was taken private by Blackstone Group Inc and CVC Capital Partners in 2017 for $4.7 billion, inclusive of debt.

Part of the financing for the deal will come from a so-called private investment in public equity (PIPE) worth $2 billion, which would make it one of the largest such instruments ever raised.

Paysafe’s current owners Blackstone and CVC will remain the largest investors in the company.

A SPAC raises money in an initial public offering to merge with another company, typically within two years. Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp II secured $1.3 billion from investors in August.

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