Optimal Payments snaps up Skrill for £800 million
Image credit: CalvinAyre.com
Optimal Payments – the owners of Neteller – and Skrill are to combine in a deal worth £800 million.
The deal will bring together four of the world’s leading online payment methods – Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard and Ukash – all under one banner. The newly-formed company hopes to challenge PayPal’s position as the number one provider of online transaction services.
The new company will also now be listed on the FTSE 250.
The sale of Skrill represents a quick and tidy profit for private equity house CVC, which bought Skrill less than two years ago based on a valuation worth around £510 million. CVC will become shareholders in Optimal as a result of the sale.
Analysts predict that with the acquisition of Skrill, the value of the Optimal Payments will instantly double. At the present time, the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of Optimal stands at around £58 million, which will then more than double to £117 million. Analysts also predict that Optimal’s earnings will reach £160 million by 2017.
Optimal have stated that this reverse takeover of Skrill will reduce the company’s reliance on online gambling, and will boost its services for online retailers and digital media services. However, it’s thought that online casinos and sports-betting will still make significant contributions to Optimal’s revenues.
Analyst Ivor Jones said: “At stroke, it brings a major competitor on board, sharply reduces the exposure to Asia and brings credible venture capital investors onto the share register.”
The CEO of Optimal, Joel Leonoff, said “We’re becoming more relevant in the e-commerce space and we see organic growth both there and in gaming following the deal.”
Mr Leonoff also said that Optimal hoped to complete the reverse takeover by July this year, subject to regulatory approval.