Once again, the demand and desire for businesses dealing with payment services is proved popular for private equity firms as Small World Financial Services was bought by Equistone, a buyout house, for a reported £80m.
FPE Capital and MMC Ventures, private equity houses, both sold their stake to Equistone and the deal generated three times the £12m growth capital investment provided by FPE. During FPE investment ownership, Small World’s revenues grew by 500% to more than £110m in 2017.
This deal illustrates just how much financial buyers are willing to invest into payment businesses. “Demand for cross-border payments is increasing due to macro-demographic trends, and Small World’s high-quality customer proposition and scalable business model position it to achieve further organic and acquisitive growth,” said Andrew Backen of Equistone.
The business, like many payment services organisations, enables customers to securely send money across the world, at a low cost, via their tech platform. Working alongside this digital service, it also has a physical system of more than 6,000 third-party send-side agents and 80 branches.
The investment will be used to help develop its new app whilst looking to acquire smaller competitors in order to expand.
This Small World deal is the second high-return exit in the payment sector for FPE, following the recent sale of Creditcall, which generated 4.2 times its invested money.