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Online payments provider Skrill sold to private equity firm

Online payments firm and independent digital wallet provider Skrill has been sold by Investcorp for €600 million (£512 million).

Subject to regulatory approvals, the company will come under the ownership of funds advised by private equity group CVC Capital Partners, although Investcorp will retain a substantial minority stake in the firm and will retain a seat on the Skrill board.

With over 36 million account holders, Skrill's digital wallet system has developed into a major player in the online payments world since its inception in 2001.

The Skrill digital wallet enables customers to make online payments conveniently and securely, and provides a platform to send and receive money via the internet in a cost-effective manner. Investcorp initially invested €25 million for a controlling stake in the company in March 2007.

At the time of Investcorp's initial investment Skrill generated revenues of €7.8 million and EBITDA of €3.7 million. The payments company now employs approximately 700 staff, and last year it generated over €200 million in revenues and €50 million in EBITDA.

Hazem Ben-Gacem, head of Investcorp's European corporate investment team, commented: "Skrill and its management team have cultivated a market-leading position during our ownership period over the past six years.

"We are proud to have been a part of a journey that has led to Skrill becoming one of the key global players in the online payments marketplace. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the Skrill management team and our new partners at CVC Capital Partners to pursue the company's growth objectives." 

Skrill announced last month that electronic remittance was to be "a pillar of its company strategy" by creating a new division and the hiring experienced staff to drive this part of the business.

Jonathan Wood, the former lead director for securing global outsourcing partnerships at foreign currency provider Travelex, will be building a specialist team to help create the remittance product offering. He will report directly to senior vice president of sales and marketing Craig Doyle.

On accepting the role, Wood commented: "It's high time we gave consumers the money transfer service they deserve.

"With the internet increasingly central to the way people live, work and play, we have a duty to make the most of today's technology to bring money transfer services into the digital age. We're building an entirely new proposition based on Skrill's values of speed, security, convenience and a straight-talking approach to finance."




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