The latest fintech opportunity may be in international tourism.
With millions more people traveling internationally every year, heavyweight investors including Dan Loeb and Jack Ma are betting big on how much money tourists will spend shopping while on vacation.
Far Point Acquisition, a so-called blank-check company that went public without assets with the intention of investing in tech firms, is buying Swiss payments company Global Blue in a transaction that values the company at $2.6 billion. Global Blue provides the technology to manage luxury shoppers’ tax refunds from spending abroad.
Far Point and other investors including Ma’s Ant Financial and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund will together provide the company with about $1 billion, according to a statement announcing the transaction. The deal will also give Global Blue a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Former NYSE President Thomas Farley, who launched Far Point, will become chairman of the combined entity, while Global Blue CEO Jacques Stern stay in his current role. Since 2012, Global Blue has been majority held by Silver Lake, which plans to keep a stake.
“Global Blue is well-positioned to continue to deliver excellent returns due to its integrated technology platform, high-quality customer base, and experienced strategic partners including Ant Financial and Silver Lake,” Loeb said in the statement.
- The transaction is the second big fintech deal this week, following Visa’s $5.3 billion agreement to buy Plaid, whose technology enables millennial-friendly payment platforms including Venmo.
- Far Point raised more than $600 million when it went public in 2018, according to the Journal. Like other blank-check companies — or, more officially, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies — it listed itself and raised money without specifically disclosing where it would invest.