Rêv Partners with Searchlight Capital Partners to Acquire Netspend Consumer Business
Netspend Founders Combine Assets to Create a Global Industry Leader
Today Rêv Worldwide, Inc., (“Rêv”), an international fintech company, and Global Payments (NYSE: GPN), a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, announced that Rêv, in partnership with funds advised by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight”), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Netspend consumer business from Global Payments in an all cash transaction valued at $1 billion. The acquisition brings back Netspend’s founders, Roy and Bertrand Sosa, who also founded Rêv. The Sosa brothers look to leverage the strategic assets of the two entities to build a global, high growth company that delivers on a mission of financial empowerment and product innovation.
For Searchlight, this transaction represents another exciting partnership with dynamic fintech entrepreneurs while also being able to support growth and innovation for consumer financial services to underserved markets. With this sale, Global Payments delivers on its commitment to divest itself from Netspend’s consumer business, allowing the company to focus on its core B2B operations and growth opportunities with Rêv as a partner.
Since the Sosas founded Netspend in 1999, the company’s consumer business has developed into a clear industry leader in the prepaid and debit card space serving millions of customers nationwide, processing hundreds of billions of dollars of cardholder purchases, and established the largest retail partner network with over 130,000 locations nationwide where consumers can load their prepaid and debit card products. Netspend’s consumer products are also available online via direct-to-consumer mobile and web channels.
“We’ve gone full circle, launching programs with partners around the globe in our journey to provide innovative financial services to underserved mass markets. We are very excited by the opportunity to partner with the Netspend consumer team and Searchlight as we deliver new products, expand into new markets and add more value to customers across the world,” said Roy Sosa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rêv.
Christopher Cruz, Partner, Searchlight, added “The characteristics of this investment are rare to find. Combining an industry leading operation in Netspend’s consumer business with modern platform technology and digitally native solutions from Rêv unlocks great growth potential by meeting the needs of a significant and sizable market. We look forward to partnering with Roy, Bertrand, and the Rêv team as they continue their mission to financially empower underserved consumers through fintech innovation.”
According to a recent industry report, the global market for Prepaid Cards, estimated at US$1.6 Trillion in the year 2020, is projected to reach US$2.7 Trillion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% over the analysis period.
Leveraging its proprietary multi-currency payments and loyalty product platform, Rêv provides mobile-first payment solutions and offers banking-as-a-service capabilities for partners around the world, such as Etihad Airways, Itaú Private Bank, LATAM Airlines; as well as direct-to-consumer branded products owned and managed by Rêv, such as the recently launched X World Wallet currently available in the U.S.
For Bertrand Sosa, President of Rêv, “The market opportunity for Netspend’s consumer business has always been massive, as evidenced by the history of growth the company has experienced. Now we have a chance to expand upon it globally by leveraging unique synergies we bring along with our entrepreneurial spirit.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 subject to relevant regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions.
Jefferies LLC is serving as lead financial advisor, and Nomura Securities International, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to Rêv. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is representing Searchlight, Gunderson Dettmer is advising Rêv.
Evercore is serving as financial advisor to Global Payments, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is representing Global Payments in the transaction.