Investcorp buys Austrian online firm for US$178 million
Source: BI-ME , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon July 2, 2012 9:51 am

BAHRAIN. Investcorp, a Bahrain-based investment firm, said on Sunday its online portfolio unit Skrill bought Austrian firm paysafecard.com for up to 140 million euros (US$177.67 million), betting on growth in online retail sector.

Paysafecard provides prepaid electronic payment services and the acquisition is Investcorp's fifth investment in Europe in the past six months, the Bahraini firm said in a bourse statement.

"Prudent investors are finding golden opportunities that have emerged post the Eurozone crisis, as reflected in our five acquisitions so far this year," Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Investcorp's president for Gulf business said.

Venture capitalists invested a record $2.39 billion in online retail in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data, more than double the amount in 2010.

Skrill, formerly knows as Moneybookers, provides global online payments services.

The combined group will potentially have 27 million end-users and over 100 different payment options, the statement said.

Investcorp, which once owned luxury brands Gucci and Tiffany & Co, last month signed up to a $504 million-equivalent loan aimed at refinancing debt due in 2013.

The company had around $11.6 billion in assets under management as at December 31, 2011.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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UAE. Key sectors driving growth in the housing market are the tourism, hospitality, education and healthcare sectors, which is translating into robust population growth and demand.
UAE. Qatar's economy is predicted to grow by 6.0%, Saudi Arabia by 4.3% and the UAE by 4.1% in 2014; The key challenge for the GCC remains continuing to diversify its economies and invest in its growing non-oil sectors.
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