111314_OptimalPayments_300Optimal Payments Plc, a global provider of online and mobile payment processing services, has entered into an agreement to acquire Skrill Group from CVC Funds and other shareholders, for an enterprise value of approximately €1.1 billion (US$[1.2] billion).

The Skrill Group is one of Europe's leading digital payments businesses providing digital wallet solutions and online payment processing capabilities and is one of the largest prepaid online voucher providers in Europe with its paysafecard brand. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions including Optimal Payments’ shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The Directors of Optimal Payments believe that the acquisition will be transformational and value-enhancing for Optimal Payments and will create a leading payment and digital wallet provider with significant international scale and reach that is well positioned to capitalize on the substantial and growing payment processing and digital wallet markets, particularly within the rapidly expanding online gambling sector.

“Over the past four years, we have successfully delivered significant growth in revenues and earnings for our shareholders,” said Joel Leonoff, president & CEO, Optimal Payments. “This growth resulted from executing our strategy to generate high levels of organic growth and to supplement this with accretive acquisitions. The acquisition of Skrill will create a global tech champion in the fast growing digital payments space and we believe represents a transformational leap forward that greatly accelerates our strategic plan. The Optimal Payments management team is extremely excited about the future prospects for the Company.”

The Directors of Optimal Payments believe that there is a clear and compelling strategic and financial rationale for a combination of Optimal Payments and Skrill (forming the “Enlarged Group”):

• The Enlarged Group will have significantly enhanced scale to create market leadership in the stored value and payments processing sectors:
o 100+ payment types in 22+ languages and 41 currencies offered by the Enlarged Group
o A broadened sector exposure to digital media and ecommerce segments as well as enhanced presence in online gambling

• Increased customer and geographic diversification:
o Increased merchant diversification and establishing a well-rounded and broad customer base
o Compelling complementarity in Optimal Payments’ and Skrill’s geographic areas of operation and revenue generation
o Well positioned to capitalize on expected growth in the North American regulated online gambling market

• Highly complementary businesses with compelling strategic fit:
o A leading global player in the digital wallet category with the NETELLER® and Skrill digital wallet
o Well positioned as a leading straight-through processing payment gateway services provider in the attractive ecommerce sector
o The Enlarged Group’s Principal Membership with Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe provides a complete end to end payment solution for partners and merchants in Europe
o Strengthened prepaid online payment solutions offering with the addition of paysafecard

• Experienced and augmented management team:
o Strong leadership team of Optimal Payments with collectively over 140 years of experience in international payment processing
o Significant transaction integration experience (most recently with Meritus / GMA and previously with the integration of Optimal Payments and Neovia)
o Intention to augment Optimal Payments’ senior management with Skrill executives