Silver Lake Partners, the US technology-focused private equity investor and Partners Group, a global private markets investment manager, announced the acquisition of Global Blue (the “Company”) from Equistone Partners Europe, the European mid-market private equity investor, for a total consideration of EUR 1bn. The transaction value represents a multiple of c. 10x Global Blue’s March 2012 EBITDA.
Founded as Sweden Tax Free Shopping in 1980, Global Blue is one of the world’s leading providers of traveller-related services including tax refunds for travellers on purchases when shopping overseas, dynamic currency conversion services which enable customers to pay in their home currency at the point of sale, and marketing services for merchants. Global Blue is headquartered in Switzerland with a presence in 41 countries and approximately 1,400 employees worldwide.
The Company was acquired by Equistone Partners for EUR 360m in September 2007. Since then, the senior management team has overseen a period of significant growth in the business which has seen revenues double and EBITDA increase from c.EUR 35m to c.EUR 97m. Management retained a significant equity stake in the business.
Smith Square Partners acted as the financial adviser to management and provided strategic advice in relation to the disposal of their existing equity stakeholding and the terms of their new equity participation.