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Equistone to buy UK's Small World Financial Services

BBR Staff Writer Published 26 March 2018

Private equity investor Equistone Partners Europe has agreed to purchase a majority stake in UK-based Small World Financial Services from FPE Capital and MMC Ventures for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the deal, Small World’s management will acquire a minority stake in the company. The completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals in multiple countries.

Based in London, Small World provides multi-channel and cross-border payment services to its customers.

Small World’s technology-driven platform enables customers to make cross-border payments through a physical network of over 6,000 third-party send-side agents and 80 branches.

With an advanced international payments infrastructure, the company offers customers with access to collection through a worldwide banking network, direct-to-account payments and loading of mobile wallets.

The firm offers payment options such as cash pick-up, account transfer, mobile top-up, mobile wallet and home delivery.

Small World serves consumers and businesses across Europe, North America, West Africa and South America. It is also a member of Tech City UK’s exclusive Future Fifty programme.

The company, which employs around 680 people across 16 countries, generates revenue of more than £110m per year.

Equistone Partners Europe partner Andrew Backen said: “Demand for cross-border payments is increasing due to macrodemographic trends, and Small World's high-quality customer proposition and scalable business model position it to achieve further organic and acquisitive growth.”

Small World chief executive Nick Day said: “We believe we are well-positioned to grow and are continuing to extend our multi-channel service proposition into new territories, as well as pursuing bolt-on acquisitions and launching new payment corridors.

“Our innovative new app will also support the increasingly digitalised needs of our customers through convenient alternative payment solutions. We look forward to working closely with the Equistone team.”

With more than 35 investment professionals operating across France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, Equistone will invest between €25m and €125m of equity in businesses with enterprise values of between €50m and €500m.


Image: Equistone to acquire majority stake in Small World Financial Services. Photo: courtesy of Small World Financial Services.