SafeCharge International Group Limited, who fully owns Cyprus based SafeCharge Limited, is set to merge with Canadian payments services provider Nuvei in a cash deal worth $889 million.
SafeCharge International Group Limited has about 400 employees worldwide, of which more than 50 people are based in Cyprus. SafeCharge provides global omni‐channel payments services from card acquiring and issuing to payment processing and checkout, all underpinned by advanced risk management solutions. Safecharge Limited, who has its offices in Nicosia, is an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus and is a principal member of MasterCard Europe and of Visa Europe. Safecharge International Group Limited also has a wholly owned UK subsidiary who is a Payment Institution and regulated by UK’s Financial Services Authority. SafeCharge International Group Limited has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2014 while Nuvei is a privately held company.
The merger is good news for Cyprus as the company aims to maintain its presence on the island.
The Boards of Nuvei and SafeCharge International Group Limited announced on the 22nd of May that they had reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended all cash acquisition of SafeCharge by Nuvei. Under the terms of the acquisition SafeCharge shareholders will receive $5.55 for each SafeCharge share, a price that represents a premium of 25% to the closing price of £3.50 per share just before the deal was announced and 56% higher than the firm’s average share price over the last six months.
Following consolidation in the rapidly growing electronic payments industry the deal will create a company with an estimated revenue of $300 million and a transaction volume of $30 billion. The EBITDA of the combined firm is estimated at about $100 million.
The acquisition will enable SafeCharge to gain exposure in Nuvei's geographical area which is primarily Canada and the United States. Conversely Nuvei will benefit from SafeCharge’s operations that are focused in European markets.
Competitors in the sector are firms such as Amsterdam based Adyen, German firm WireCard, and UK’s WorldPay.
Commenting on the acquisition, David Avgi, Chief Executive Officer of SafeCharge said that both firms have similar entrepreneurial cultures and expressed confidence that Nuvei's plans to invest in and grow the SafeCharge business will benefit both companies.
Philip Fayer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nuvei said that the merger will create a truly global, payments technology leader noting that the two businesses are highly complementary in terms of geography, technology, key verticals and customers.
Mr. Fayer also said that the technology platform SafeCharge has developed ‘’is exceptional and will serve as the go-forward foundation from which will continue to grow the combined business and provide best-in-class products and services to our customers and partners’’.
No changes are envisaged by Nuvei in relation to the redeployment of SafeCharge’s fixed assets or its research and development functions based in Israel, Cyprus and Bulgaria.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized within two to three months.
Read more details regarding the acquisition here.