– SWITZERLAND, Zurich – Global Blue (soon NYSE: GB), a leading strategic technology and payments partner empowering global merchants to capture the growth of international shoppers, today announced it will become a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with Far Point Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: FPAC), a special purpose acquisition company co-sponsored by the institutional asset manager Third Point LLC and former NYSE President Thomas W. Farley.
Jacques Stern, a veteran public company executive and current Global Blue CEO, will continue to lead the existing management team, and Thomas W. Farley will become Chairman of Global Blue.
Current investors, including Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, will remain significant shareholders in the combined company. New investors, anchored by Ant Financial Services Group, a member of the Alibaba digital economy and operator of the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform Alipay, and Third Point, have committed to invest a total of $350 million in the combined company at a €2.3 billion (approximately $2.6 billion) enterprise valuation in the form of a private placement. The new public company will be incorporated in Switzerland and will trade as Global Blue under ticker symbol (NYSE: GB) upon closing.
“Global Blue is the clear market leader in the attractive and growing Tax-Free Shopping ecosystem worldwide,” said Mr. Farley.
He added: “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. I look forward to working with Global Blue to capitalize on favorable trends in the business, including the growth of the emerging markets middle-class, positive VAT dynamics, and further digitalization.”
Jacques Stern, CEO of Global Blue, stated: “I am delighted about this collaboration with Far Point and Tom, as I believe it will help create long-term value for Global Blue and its shareholders. In recent years, we have built a true leader in our industry, powered by a cutting-edge integrated technology platform. We strongly believe that continued investment in innovation will bring value to all our partners and customers, and we look forward to accelerating our strategic collaboration with Ant Financial as a showcase of such innovation.”
Angel Zhao, President of Ant Financial’s International Business Group, commented: “Global Blue is an important partner for Ant Financial and the broader Alibaba ecosystem as we continue to deepen our globalization strategy. Alipay and our global e-wallet partners’ user bases, along with Global Blue’s extensive merchant and airport footprint across more than 50 countries, together creates the significant potential to expand the relationship and introduce new technologies and services to the marketplace.”
Christian Lucas and Joe Osnoss, Managing Directors of Silver Lake, added: “This announcement is particularly gratifying since it unites Jacques, Tom and Alibaba/Ant Financial, important Silver Lake relationships spanning multiple continents and predating involvement in Global Blue. We and Partners Group thank the Global Blue management team for reaching this milestone and look forward to continuing as shareholders of the combined company.”
Daniel S. Loeb, CEO of Third Point, said: “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. Far Point evaluated numerous companies to capitalize, and Global Blue is exactly the type of high-quality, growing business we hoped to identify for our initial SPAC.”
About Global Blue
Global Blue is a strategic technology and payments partner empowering global merchants to capture the growth of international shoppers, with two business lines:
- Tax-Free Shopping Technology Solutions: the pioneer and global leader with a strong and comprehensive network, serving more than 300,000 merchant stores, enabling 13 million international shoppers to claim VAT refunds in 43 countries
- Added-Value Payment Solutions: worldwide provider partnering with more than 50 merchant acquirers, enabling 16 million international travelers to benefit from a great payment experience at more than 150,000 points of interaction in 34 countries
- During Global Blue’s fiscal year ended in March 2019, the company processed 64 million transactions for 29 million international shoppers.
- Strong macro trends have driven the company’s development over multiple years, including the growth of the emerging markets middle class, positive VAT dynamics and digitalization.
- Today, Global Blue has over 2,000 employees in 51 countries.
- Global Blue possesses an attractive financial profile including a structural long-term growth trajectory, a well-diversified business model, healthy profitability and strong cash flow generation.
- With more than €22.6 billion Sales in Store, Global Blue recorded revenues of more than €400 million and an adjusted EBITDA margin of more than 40% in the fiscal year ended in March 2019.
As the worldwide leader of the Tax-Free Shopping industry for the last 40 years, with a global footprint spanning 51 countries and 300,000 merchants, Global Blue’s mission is to empower merchants to capture the full potential of international shoppers. The Group offers a seamless shopping and payment journey for tourists and also provides a wide range of Added-Value Payment Solutions for all the stakeholders involved, including retailers and international shoppers. The Company’s Tax-Free Shopping business serves 13 million international shoppers and generates 85% while the Added- Value Payment business involves 16 million travelers and generates 15% of total revenue.
Every year, Global Blue connects worldwide 29 million international travelers and more than 200 payment providers and acquirers. Global Blue is headquartered in Switzerland and counts 2,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, visit www.globalblue.com/corporate/
About Transaction Terms
Far Point and new investors will invest a total of approximately $1.0 billion reflecting a total enterprise value of €2.3 billion (equivalent to approximately $2.6 billion) for Global Blue, which represents 12.1x the adjusted EBITDA expected for 2020/21 (i.e., fiscal year ending March 2021).
The transaction will be funded by the $650 million of cash held in trust by Far Point and additional investments from Ant Financial Services Group, Third Point LLC and several established strategic equity investors who together have committed to invest $350 million at closing through a private placement. Assuming no redemptions by Far Point’s public shareholders, the cash in trust and the proceeds of this private placement will be used primarily to pay existing Global Blue shareholders an amount of approximately $967 million cash consideration.
Assuming no redemptions by Far Point’s public shareholders, Global Blue shareholders would have a resulting 42% ownership stake in the Pro-forma company while existing Far Point public shareholders would own 34%, cornerstone equity investors (including Third Point LLC and Ant Financial Services Group) would own 19%, and Far Point sponsors would own 6%. Global Blue will refinance all existing debt with an anticipated Pro-forma Net Debt of 3.3x LTM March 2020 adjusted EBITDA, with an anticipated rapid deleveraging potential thereafter.
The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020 and is subject to approval by Far Point stockholders and other customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The Boards of Directors of both Global Blue and Far Point have unanimously approved the contemplated transaction.
About Far Point
Far Point Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: FPAC) is a special purpose acquisition company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses in the financial technology industry. The company is co-sponsored by Third Point, a leading investment manager, and Thomas W. Farley. Far Point completed its initial public offering on the NYSE in June 2018, raising $632 million from investors.
About Third Point
Third Point is a New York-based global alternative investment firm managing approximately $15 billion in assets for public institutions, private entities and qualified individual clients. The firm was founded in 1995 by Daniel S. Loeb, who serves as Chief Executive Officer and oversees all investment activity. It employs a flexible, opportunistic investment style – one that seeks to identify situations with a recognizable catalyst which we anticipate will unlock value.
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