Press releases

Proposed Acquisition by Optimal Payments of Skrill to Create Leading Global Player in Online Payment and Digital Wallet Services

Mar 23, 2015

Acquisition Will Diversify Customer Base, Product Offering, Geographic Exposure and Sector Presence

MONTREAL and NEW YORK (March 23, 2015) Optimal Payments Plc (LSE AIM: OPAY, “Optimal Payments” or the “Optimal Payments Group”), a global provider of online and mobile payment processing services, has entered into an agreement to acquire Skrill Group from CVC Funds and other shareholders, for an enterprise value of approximately €1.1 billion (US$[1.2] billion).  The Skrill Group is one of Europe's leading digital payments businesses providing digital wallet solutions and online payment processing capabilities and is one of the largest prepaid online voucher providers in Europe with its paysafecard brand. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions including Optimal Payments’ shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The Directors of Optimal Payments believe that the acquisition will be transformational and value-enhancing for Optimal Payments and will create a leading payment and digital wallet provider with significant international scale and reach that is well positioned to capitalize on the substantial and growing payment processing and digital wallet markets, particularly within the rapidly expanding online gambling sector.

“Over the past four years, we have successfully delivered significant growth in revenues and earnings for our shareholders,” said Joel Leonoff, president & CEO, Optimal Payments. “This growth resulted from executing our strategy to generate high levels of organic growth and to supplement this with accretive acquisitions.  The acquisition of Skrill will create a global tech champion in the fast growing digital payments space and we believe represents a transformational leap forward that greatly accelerates our strategic plan.  The Optimal Payments management team is extremely excited about the future prospects for the Company.”

The Directors of Optimal Payments believe that there is a clear and compelling strategic and financial rationale for a combination of Optimal Payments and Skrill (forming the “Enlarged Group”):

  • The Enlarged Group will have significantly enhanced scale to create market leadership in the stored value and payments processing sectors:
    • 100+ payment types in 22+ languages and 41 currencies offered by the Enlarged Group
    • A broadened sector exposure to digital media and ecommerce segments as well as enhanced presence in online gambling
  • Increased customer and geographic diversification:
    • Increased merchant diversification and establishing a well-rounded and broad customer base
    • Compelling complementarity in Optimal Payments’ and Skrill’s geographic areas of operation and revenue generation
    • Well positioned to capitalize on expected growth in the North American regulated online gambling market
  • Highly complementary businesses with compelling strategic fit:
    • A leading global player in the digital wallet category with the NETELLER® and Skrill digital wallet
    • Well positioned as a leading straight-through processing payment gateway services provider in the attractive ecommerce sector
    • The Enlarged Group’s Principal Membership with Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe provides a complete end to end payment solution for partners and merchants in Europe
    • Strengthened prepaid online payment solutions offering with the addition of paysafecard
  • Experienced and augmented management team:
    • Strong leadership team of Optimal Payments with collectively over 140 years of experience in international payment processing
    • Significant transaction integration experience (most recently with Meritus / GMA and previously with the integration of Optimal Payments and Neovia)
    • Intention to augment Optimal Payments’ senior management with Skrill executives


Skrill is a privately held global provider of digital payment and electronic money solutions, founded and headquartered in London, UK, with key offices in Vienna, New York and Sofia. Skrill is one of Europe's leading digital payments providers providing digital wallet solutions and online payment processing capabilities and is one of the largest pre-paid online voucher providers in Europe with its paysafecard brand. Skrill’s businesses comprise Skrill, paysafecard and Payolution. Skrill's principal product is the e-Wallet, an internet-based stored value account, established by merchants and customers, maintained by Skrill and enabling account holders to send and receive money instantly and securely, using a wide selection of payment options at a low cost and to pay for goods and services online. Skrill also provides payment-related services through its Payment Service Provider Gateway, Direct Payment Gateway and Prepaid MasterCard® offering. Payolution offers a white label payment upon invoice solution to merchants.


Optimal Payments is a global provider of online payment solutions, trusted by businesses and consumers in over 200 countries and territories to move and manage billions of dollars each year. Merchants use the NETBANX® platform and services to simplify how they accept credit and debit card, direct-from-bank, and alternative and local payments; and the NETELLER® service to increase revenues and capture new customers. Consumers use the multi-lingual and multi-currency NETELLER and Net+® Card stored-value offering to make secure and convenient payments. In addition, Card Services, another division of Optimal Payments, provides innovative prepaid products and services to merchants. Optimal Payments Plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, with a ticker symbol of OPAY. Subsidiary company Optimal Payments Ltd is authorised and regulated as an e-money issuer by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 900015).

For more information on Optimal Payments visit

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Media Contacts – Canada:
Beverly Brooks/Linda Farha/Erin Cudmore
Zenergy Communications
+1 416-591-5461

Media Contacts – United States:
Richard Anderson/Emily Simmons/Henry Feintuch
Feintuch Communications
+1 718-986-1596 / +1 212-808-4904 / + 1 212-808-4901

Any securities issued by Optimal Payments will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or pursuant to an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.