Optimal Payments aims for FTSE 250 with €1.1 billion buyout of Skrill


UK business news sources have reported that London listed payments provider Optimal Payments is preparing a bid to buy competitor Skrill for reported €1.1 billion (estimated £810 million).

Optimal Payments, which operates igaming payment services specialist Neteller, is looking to acquire Skrill in order to expand its digital services offering and certify its leading position within the high transaction online gambling market just as new jurisdictions open their markets.

Skrill, which has a payments partnership with several online gambling operators, recorded corporate profits of $89 million in 2014.

Business news sources have reported that Optimal Payments would look to fund the deal with a €700 million cash offer, financed by a new credit lines provided by a group of banks including Barclays, Montreal Bank and Deutsche Bank.

The remaining portion of the deal would be funded by the distribution of 37.5 million new shares, 23% of which would be distributed to investors Sentinel Group Holdings who would take a 7.9% stake in the new company

If approved the takeover of Skrill by Optimal would place the payments company in the FTSE 250. Optimal are thought to be targeting concluding the acquisition by Q3 2014.

Dennis Jones, Optimal’s Chairman, said in a statement.

We are taking advantage of an exceptional opportunity to acquire a business we know very well which, combined with Optimal Payments, will be a leading UK based online payments business with the essential scale necessary to be highly successful. These opportunities are few and far between,”

“The board believes this transformational transaction will be earnings accretive for shareholders from the first full fiscal year of ownership, will further diversify our client base and, additionally, will enable us to deliver enhanced services to existing and prospective merchants and customers in all of our global markets,”

Optimal PLC governance has suspended its London listed stock

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