Online gambling payment processor Paysafe Group Holdings is prepping for its US public market debut following a $9b merger.
On Monday, a ‘special purpose acquisition company’ (SPAC) called Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp II announced that it had come to terms on a US$9b deal to merge with the with the London-based Paysafe, allowing the payments firm to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PSFE.
Foley Trasimene is led by investor Bill Foley, whose holdings include Fortune 500 insurance firm Fidelity National Financial as well as the National Hockey League club Vegas Golden Knights. The SPAC listed on the NYSE in August after raising nearly $1.5b.
Private equity groups Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners, which took Paysafe private in 2017, will remain Paysafe’s biggest investors following the NYSE listing. The hedge funds will reportedly triple their original investment via the merger, not a bad return for their hefty bet.
SPACs have become all the rage in the US iGaming sector, allowing the likes of DraftKings, Rush Street Interactive, Tilman Fertitta’s Golden Nugget online casino and countless others to accelerate the public listing process while investors are still prone to treating due diligence like horny drunks view unopened condom wrappers.
Paysafe, the parent company of Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard and Income Access, has a lengthy history of handling payments for online gambling operators (including some with operations in grey/black markets). Paysafe has been putting sharper focus on the US market ever since the Supreme Court struck down the federal sports betting prohibition in 2018 and it’s this rapidly expanding market that has investors most twitterpated.
Paysafe CEO Philip McHugh, who will remain at his post following the sale, told Reuters that the company would look to expand its US sports betting reach, in part by acquiring some rival payment firms.
In July, Paysafe acquired US-based Openbucks, which allows online merchants to accept retail gift cards as payments in lieu of credit cards, which Paysafe’s official release claimed was “particularly popular amongst online gaming and eSports operators” (sure, just ask 5Dimes).
Last month, Paysafe appointed Scott McClintic as its senior VP iGaming Product & Strategy to help achieve its goal of squashing US online gambling payment rivals like the bugs they are. McClintic was formerly Chief Product Officer at Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook.