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Paysafe agrees to roughly £3B offer from Blackstone, CVC funds

Paysafe Group Plc's board agreed to an offer by funds managed and/or advised by Blackstone Group LP and CVC Capital Partners to acquire the London-listed payments firm's entire issued and to-be-issued share capital for approximately £2.96 billion.

Pi UK Bidco Ltd., a newly incorporated company jointly owned by the funds, will pay Paysafe's shareholders 590 pence in cash for every share that they hold in the payments firm. The price represents a premium of roughly 42% to the volume-weighted average price per Paysafe share during the 12-month period to June 30 and of approximately 34% to the volume-weighted average price in the six-month period to June 30, the day prior to broad sector consolidation expectation.

The consideration will be financed through a combination of equity to be invested by the Blackstone and CVC funds and debt to be provided under an interim facilities agreement by Credit Suisse AG, London branch, Jefferies and Morgan Stanley Bank International Ltd.

Paysafe's independent directors intend to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition, which will be implemented through a court-sanctioned scheme.

Paysafe's largest shareholder, Old Mutual Plc unit Old Mutual Global Investors (UK) Ltd., and Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd. — which together represent about 11.94% of the payments firm — have already sent letters of intent to vote in favor of the scheme, according to the Aug. 4 press release.

Paysafe nonexecutive directors Dennis Jones, Jennifer Allerton, Andrew Dark, Ian Francis, Brahm Gelfand, Karen Guerra and Ian Jenks will step down immediately after the acquisition takes effect.

The deal, which is subject to certain closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Lazard is acting as lead financial adviser to Paysafe. RBC Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank, London branch, are acting as financial advisers, with the latter also acting as corporate broker to the payments firm. Credit Suisse is acting as financial adviser to the consortium and Pi UK Bidco.

The agreement marks the latest M&A deal in the payments sector following separate deals involving Worldpay Group Plc, Worldline SA and Ingenico Group SA.