Silver Lake and Partners Group set for $2.6bn Global Blue sale

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Silver Lake and Partners Group have agreed to sell tax free shopping business Global Blue to a special purpose acquisition vehicle established by ex-New York Stock Exchange president Thomas Farley.

The SPAC, Far Point, is co-sponsored by the hedge fund manager Third Point and Farley who will become chairman of Global Blue.

The deal will be funded by around $650m in cash from Far Point and new investors led by Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial Services Group.

Third Point will also invest $350m in Global Blue, bringing the total investment to $1bn and valuing the company at €2.3bn.

Global Blue will list on the New York Stock Exchange following the close of the deal, which is expected to reach completion in the second quarter of this year.

The private equity majors will retain a 42 per cent stake in the combined company.

Global Blue provides tax free shopping technology services which allow 13 million international shoppers to claim VAT refunds through more than 300,000 merchant stores.

The company processed 64 million transactions during the fiscal year ended in March 2019.

“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,” Silver Lake managing directors Christian Lucas and Joe Osnoss said in a statement.

“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.”

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