Paysafe: Acquires and Acquired?

While it was making an acquisition, word emerged that U.K.-based online payments provider Paysafe could be acquired itself, continuing what has been a busy few weeks of consolidation in the payments space. First, fellow U.K. company Worldpay was snapped up by U.S.-based processing giant Vantiv and then Digital River World Payments was acquired by Worldline, the payments arm of French IT firm Atos. Paysafe announced late last week it had acquired Texas-based Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions for $470 million, but at the same time confirmed that it also was an acquisition target, saying it received a $3.7 billion bid from private equity firms Blackstone and CVC.

Paysafe, formerly known as Optimal Payments rebranded after it added mobile wallet provider Skrill and virtual card provider Paysafecard. According to a statement from Paysafe Group, Blackstone and CVC Capital made an initial approach in May and have since been in talks and discussions about a potential deal. Blackstone and CVC Capital now have until Aug. 18 to confirm their bid.

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