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|| Bahrain investment firm buys Austrian online firm for $178 million

investcorp-oninepayment.jpgBahrain investment firm, Investcorp, announced that its portfolio online payment company, Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), has agreed to acquire 100% of paysafecard.com, an Austrian provider of prepaid vouchers for around $178 million.

Paysafecard is the fifth investment undertaken by Investcorp and its portfolio companies in Europe over the past six months.

Investcorp is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR30.

More details follows

Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, announced that its portfolio online payment company, Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), has agreed to acquire 100% 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 €140m.

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 Sammakia, Managing Director at Investcorp and regional head for United Arab Emirates, said, "Despite Europe's troubles at the sovereign-debt level, substantial investment opportunities still exist in the Eurozone region. Deep knowledge of the market and a wide network of relationships have helped Investcorp and its portfolio companies secure several deals in Europe since the beginning of the year including Skrill's significant acquisition."

"The paysafecard acquisition will further Skrill's position as a complete alternative payments platform. Both businesses have grown around 50% over the last few years and we are confident that the combined company will continue to expand rapidly in tandem with the online shopping trend. Reports indicate that more than 40% of consumers in the US and Europe are shopping on the internet, and millions of them who are unbanked will now rely on Skrill's expanded payment services that offer merchants and end-users much greater flexibility in making and receiving payments," Sammakia 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 Finanzmarktaufsichtsbehörde (FMA) and the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). The acquisition is also subject to merger control approvals.



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