Thursday , November 23, 2017

Irish Firm To Acquire Multi-Currency Processor Planet Payment for $250 Million

Two and a half months after announcing it was exploring strategic alternatives, international payment services provider Planet Payment Inc. reported late Thursday that it has a deal to be acquired by Galway, Ireland-based Fintrax Group, a multi-currency processor for international shoppers, for $4.50 per share in cash.

The deal values Long Beach, N.Y.-based Planet Payment at about $250 million, according to the processor’s financial advisor, San Francisco-based Financial Technology Partners LP (FT Partners). The $4.50 offer represents a 17.8% premium over Planet Payment’s closing share price of $3.82 on Thursday.

Founded in 1985, Fintrax Group operates in 34 markets and provides dynamic currency-conversion services that enable payment card holders traveling abroad to pay for goods and services in their own currency. The company also processes refunds on value-added tax purchases, and provides specialty treasury and foreign-exchange services to merchant acquirers.

“The acquisition of Planet Payment will expand our ability to serve global customers, particularly in the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, Latin America, China, and Southeast Asia,” Fintrax chief executive Patrick Waldron said in a statement. “We look forward to working with [Planet Payment chairman and CEO] Carl Williams and his team to grow the combined business.”

In his own statement, Williams said “we are excited to be joining the Fintrax organization and to combining our unique products and services, thus adding more value to our customers.”

Planet Payment operates in 23 countries and offers multi-currency services in addition to international payment processing. It works with 76 merchant acquirers and processors and serves about 177,000 merchants.

Executives, directors and certain Planet Payment shareholders owning an aggregate of 28% of the company’s shares and derivatives have agreed to tender their shares to Fintrax. The sale is expected to close by year’s end.

Paris-based private-equity firm Eurazeo acquired Fintrax in 2015 for $641 million, according to FT Partners.

Back in August, Williams declined to comment beyond a press release about why the company was exploring alternatives that included its possible sale. At the time, Planet Payment’s shares were trading in the $3.40 range, off 27% from their 52-week high.

Planet Payment’s shares jumped more than 16% in after-hours trading on news of the Fintrax buyout.

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