Paysafe backs $3.9 billion offer from Blackstone/CVC group: Reuters

Payments processing company Paysafe Group has backed a 3 billion pound ($3.9 billion) takeover offer from a consortium of funds managed by Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners, the latest in a string of deals in the sector.

Payments companies have become sought-after targets as more shoppers switch from cash to paying for purchases by smartphones or other mobile devices. U.S. group Vantiv is in talks to buy Britain’s Worldpay for 7.7 billion pounds.

Paysafe offers pre-paid cashcards and online wallets which are popular among online gambling customers, and has recently agreed to buy Merchants’ Choice Payments Solutions for $470 million to strengthen its presence in the United States.

Its board said on Friday it considered the terms of the 590 pence per share cash proposal, which was tabled last month, to be “fair and reasonable.”

However, Paysafe shares were up 1.3 percent at 600 pence in early trade, signaling investors are hopeful of a higher offer.

Paysafe and the bidding consortium said the deal was expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 following approval by shareholders.

It would also need to be cleared by regulators in Britain, Switzerland Mauritius, the European Union, the United States and China among others.