Paysafe Group receives conditional offer from Blackstone and CVC Capital of £2.9 bn

Paysafe Group has revealed receiving a conditional offer from Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners valuing the business at £2.9 billion.

According to a statement by the payments processing firm, the funds offered 590p a share in cash, on Friday. According to Paysafe, the initial approach by the funds came in May and had made a number of indicative proposals since then.

Paysafe's shares shot 8.5 per cent in early trade to a record high of 591p and with stock up over 58 per cent in the year to date.

The company's largest shareholder, Old Mutual Global Investors, had sent a non-binding letter supporting the offer. It held about 10.3 per cent of the firm's shares. The bidders had until 18 August to confirm their bid.

Paysafe's revenue had grown 600 per cent since 2011, a large proportion of which came from handling gambling transactions, for betting companies such as Ladbrokes and William Hill.

It joined the FTSE 250 index of companies in 2016 and posted a huge increase in profits.

The 590 pence per share all-cash offer represented a premium of about 9 per cent to Paysafe's closing price yesterday.

According to a separate statement, Paysafe said it had also agreed to buy US peer Merchants Choice Payments Solutions for $470 million.

According to commentators, payments companies had become targets for credit card companies and banks that looked to capitalise on a switch from cash transactions to paying by smartphone or other mobile devices.

According to Paysafe, the proposal represented an about 34 per cent premium to its volume weighted average price for the six months to 30 June, the day before broad sector consolidation speculation hit the market.

According to the group, Old Mutual Global Investors, Paysafe's largest shareholder with a stake of about 10.3 per cent in the group, had signed a non-binding letter of support for the possible offer.