Paya (PAYA) to Be Acquired by Nuvei for $9.75 Per Share


Paya (PAYA) to Be Acquired by Nuvei for $9.75 Per Share

Paya (NASDAQ:PAYA), which completed a combination with FinTech III in October 2020, announced this morning that it has agreed to be acquired by its Canadian peer Nuvei (TSX:NVEI) in an all-cash transaction at $9.75 per share.

The price tag marks a 25% premium to Paya’s last close at $7.79 per share and a 30% premium to the company’s 90-day VWAP and the company was trading below $6 just two months ago.

The deal also marks the second time a company brought public by the FinTech team, led by Chair Betsy Cohen, has locked in an attractive exit a couple of years out from de-SPAC.

FinTech I combined with CardConnect in 2016, which First Data bought up a year later for $15 per share. The team’s hits also include International Money Exchange (NASDAQ:IMXI), which last closed at $22.87 four years out from its combination with FinTech II.

Paya’s price tag isn’t quite as quite as gaudy on the face of it, but locking in -2.5% returns from the IPO price at a time when the de-SPAC’s host exchange is down more than -29% over the past year is nothing to sneeze at.

The valuation equates to 13x its 2023E adjusted EBITDA, which is lower than the 19.6x 2021E EBITDA at which that the FinTech III SPAC deal was struck. But, nearly all public companies in the payments and financial services spaces are down from the heady days coming out of the pandemic.

Many big names in the space like Block (NYSE:SQ), (NYSE:BILL) and International Money Exchange itself have been in the red on an EBITDA basis in their most recent quarters as well.

The Paya deal also follows EQT’s take-private of another fintech de-SPAC in Billtrust announced last September. This was struck at $9.50 per share, which was a 76% premium over its 90-day VWAP.

Given the sheer number of fintech companies that have recently gone public via SPACs in recent years, there could be continued consolidation, potentially amid the de-SPACs themselves.

Earlier acquisitions of de-SPACs announced last year were more often buy-low scenarios. 2020 de-SPAC SOC Telemed announced in February it would be acquired for $3 per share, while Romeo Power (NYSE:RMO) agreed to be acquired by fellow de-SPAC Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) in August, exchanging each Romeo share for 0.1186 Nikola shares. That rate equated to roughly $0.81 per share in value on the day it was announced.

Paya, for its part, exceeded the revenue projections it made in conjunction with its deal announcement in 2021, its first year as a public company. It most recently announced it generated $71.4 million in revenue and $18.6 million in EBITDA in the third quarter of 2022.