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Investcorp’s Skrill agrees to buy Austria’s paysafecard for €140m

Last updated: Monday, July 02, 2012 12:41 PM
Mohammed Al-Shroogi



INVESTCORP, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, Sunday announced that its portfolio online payment company, Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), has agreed to acquire 100 percent of paysafecard.com Wertkarten AG, an Austrian provider of prepaid vouchers that enable consumers to shop online. The total consideration for the acquisition is up to €140 million.

paysafecard provides a prepaid electronic payment method. People who want to pay online, but do not have access to a credit card or bank account or do not wish to provide card details on the internet for security reasons, can visit one of the 450,000 retail outlets linked to paysafecard and convert their cash into electronic money in the form of eVouchers that they can use for online purchases. Skrill is already a leader in the global online payments business, and with this acquisition it is combining its digital wallet and online payments services with paysafecard’s extensive offline distribution network in 31 countries across Europe, North and South America.

paysafecard is the fifth investment undertaken by Investcorp and its portfolio companies in Europe over the past six months. Earlier, Investcorp acquired GL Education Group, the leading UK provider of non-regulated pupil and school assessment solutions for primary and secondary schools, and made another acquisition in Spain. Investcorp’s French portfolio company, IPH Group, also made two add-on acquisitions in Germany.

Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Investcorp’s President for Gulf Business said: "Skrill’s acquisition of paysafecard clearly indicates the quality of investments that are still available in European markets. Prudent investors are finding golden opportunities that have emerged post the eurozone crisis, as reflected in our five acquisitions so far this year."

"Both businesses have grown around 50 percent over the last few years and we are confident that the combined company will continue to expand rapidly, given the exponential growth the online retail industry is witnessing. The paysafecard acquisition will further reinforce Skrill’s offering which will now address both on and off-line channels, offering merchants and end-users much greater flexibility in making and receiving payments," Al-Shroogi added.

The combined group will have over 27 million end-users, close to 130,000 merchant customers, and over 100 different payment options in more than 40 currencies.

The acquisition of paysafecard.com Wertkarten AG and the indirect acquisition of regulated subsidiary paysafecard.com Wertkarten Vertriebs GmbH and Prepaid Services Company Limited is subject to the approval of both the Austrian Finanzmarktaufsichtsbeh?rde (FMA) and the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). The acquisition is also subject to merger control approvals. – SG

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