Bill Foley, owner of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights hockey club, is buying into the gaming industry with an acquisition of Paysafe Group Holdings Ltd. Trasimene Acquisition Corp. II, a blank-check public special purpose acquisition company owned by Foley, will effect a merger with privately held Paysafe, which is valued at around $9 billion, including debt.
The transaction will make Paysafe a public company at the closing of the deal, which is expected in the first half of 2021.
The announcement, which confirmed a Reuters report on Sunday, caused shares in Foley Trasimene to surge 12% pre-market. Foley said in an interview with Reuters that Paysafe offers different businesses that could be scaled, in a payment segment that has boomed as casinos seek cashless, contactless payment methods in the wake of Covid-19.
Philip McHugh, who will remain chief executive of Paysafe following the merger, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the company aims to expand its digital wallet offering through acquisition, and to capitalize on the booming U.S. sports betting market.
“We think we’re well positioned to win this market, to continue to be a leader in all the markets we serve,” McHugh said. “As each state continues to grow, as new states expand and as our digital wallet starts to grow and capture more share, you see both volume and take rate on an upward trajectory over the next few years as this market develops.”
London-based Paysafe went private in 2017 in a $4 billion acquisition by private equity firms Blackstone Group Inc. and CVC Capital Partners Ltd.