Ant Financial to back $2.6B merger between Global Blue and Far Point

Ant Financial to back $2.6B merger between Global Blue and Far Point

Global Blue, a provider of tax free shopping and payments, has entered a merger deal with Far Point Acquisition Corp., a special purchase company sponsored by asset manager Third Point LLC and former NYSE President Thomas Farley, in a deal backed by Ant Financial Services Group, the operator of China’s leading mobile wallet Alipay. 

Far Point will invest $650 million in cash, while Ant Financial and Third Point have agreed to invest a total of $350 million in the newly combined company, at a valuation of $2.6 billion (2.3 billion euros). The newly combined company will be based in Switzerland and trade under the Global Blue name. 

Global Blue CEO Jacques Stern will continue to lead the combined company, and Farley will become chairman of the firm. Current investors, including Silver Lake, will continue to be significant shareholders in the combined entity. 

“Global Blue is the clear market leader in the attractive and growing tax free shopping ecosystem worldwide,” Farley said in a release from Global Blue. “The company has achieved remarkable progress in digitalization, geographic expansion and strategic value creation under Jacques’ leadership and the stewardship of its existing shareholders, including controlling shareholder Silver Lake, whose principals I have known personally and professionally for years.”

Angel Zhao, president of Ant Financial’s International Business Group, said that Global Blue was an important partner for Ant Financial and the broader Alibaba ecosystem. 

“Alipay and our global wallet partners’ user bases, along with Global Blue’s extensive merchant and airport footprint across more than 50 countries, together creates significant potential to expand the relationship and introduce new technologies and services to the marketplace,” he said.

Cover image: Global Blue.

Topics: Mergers & Acquisitions, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA, Retail

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