Quick way to become publicly traded
Online payment processing company Paysafe Group has agreed to a merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp. II (FTAC). As a result, Paysafe will become a publicly traded company. The deal values Paysafe at $9 billion.
FTAC is led by billionaire Bill Foley, hence its name. The company raised $1.47 billion through an initial public offering in August and now has a market value of $1.95 billion, based on Friday’s closing price. It plans to raise another $2 billion in private money to finance the deal.
Special purpose acquisition companies, also called “blank check” companies, are created to acquire/merge with a private company in order to take it public. SPACs don’t sell anything, provide any services, or generate income. They are solely investment vehicles. They themselves go public, buy the target company, then usually change their name to the acquired company, making it a public firm.
Such will be the case with Paysafe. After the merger is completed, FTAC will operate as Paysafe and trade on the New York Stock Change under the ticker PSFE.
Paysafe was previously listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 250 Index until it was bought by The Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners three years ago, at which point it went private.
Gigantic player in the online poker industry
Paysafe is one of the largest – if not the largest (I’m honestly not sure – it’s really big, regardless) – payment process in the online gambling industry. One or more of its brands are accepted at the vast majority of online poker sites and internet gaming sites overall. The company was formed by Neteller, Netbanx, and Optimal Payments via a series of acquisitions and rebrandings. The name Paysafe was eventually cemented in 2015 when Optimal Payments acquired the Skrill group, including its paysafecard business.
Some of the top payment brands operating under the Paysafe umbrella include the aforementioned Skrill, paysafecard, and Neteller. The company has won the title of “Payments Provider of Year” at the American Gambling Awards the last two years, which are the only two years the awards have been in existence.
Execs eyeing US gaming market
“Today, more than ever, businesses and consumers need to connect and seamlessly transact via digital commerce,” said Paysafe CEO Philip McHugh in Monday’s press release.
“This transaction will allow us to accelerate our growth opportunities across the business, particularly in fast growth sectors such as iGaming where we are the payments partner of choice,” he added.
Paysafe processes almost $100 billion annually, with 75% of its revenue coming from online and integrated services. Among other opportunities, as McHugh mentioned, the company sees great opportunity in the growing online gambling sector in the United States. Though online poker continues to grow at less than a snail’s pace, sports betting is exploding and online casino gaming has made strides.