Buyout group CVC Capital Partners has agreed to buy Skrill Group, the online payment company that operates under the Moneybookers brand in the UK, for €600m including debt.
The deal enables the seller, fellow private equity firm Investcorp, to achieve a return of eight times its initial investment, and is CVC’s fourth European takeover this year.
All four companies were owned by private equity groups, and bought in what investors call pass-the-parcel transactions.
“Skrill is a high-quality business that has demonstrated its ability to grow rapidly into a market leading provider of online payments serving the online gaming, gambling, digital media and e-commerce industries,” said Peter Rutland, senior managing director of CVC Capital Partners.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Skrill and support its management team as they continue to grow their range of online payment options across the globe,” he said.
With €6.3bn worth of deals in the region so far in 2013, CVC tops all other European buyout investors, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
The fund manager, which has raised €10.5bn for a new European buyout vehicle, has to finish spending its previous fund. It is also in exclusive talks to buy the European brands of Campbell Soup.
Started in 2001, Skrill has more than 36m account holders, who can make online payments securely, and send and receive money online instantly.
Bahrain-based Investcorp invested €25m in 2007 for a controlling stake in the company. Since then Skrill’s revenues increased from €7.8m to €200m, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation from €3.7m to €50m. Investcorp is retaining a minority stake in the company, it said on Monday.
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