Skift Take

Have you ever claimed your value added tax back for things you bought during a trip to Europe? Then you probably used a Global Blue Tax Free Shopping service. If your airport line was endlessly long, you'll be amused to know it took nine months for Global Blue's sale to happen.

Shareholders of Far Point, the blank-check company backed by U.S. hedge fund Third Point, on Monday approved the proposed $2.6 billion acquisition of Swiss payments company Global Blue.

The vote caps months of wrangling between Third Point and the private equity owners of Global Blue, which Far Point had agreed to acquire in January but has since seen its business suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holders of roughly 67.7% of Far Point shares voted in favor of the deal. Just over 50% support was required to green light the deal.

Investors with 48.7 million shares opted to redeem their stock to reclaim the initial $10 per share investment made at the time of the Far Point initial public offering in 2018.

Global Blue processes payments made by international travelers on luxury good purchases at airports and has been hit by the global decline in air travel.

The deal was thrown into doubt in May when Far Point changed its recommendation to shareholders and asked them to vote against the deal.

Then in July private equity firm Silver Lake, which owns Global Blue together with Partners Group Holding AG, offered a string of concessions to Far Point, including an offer not to issue a pre-transaction dividend of 154 million euros.

A compromise was announced on Aug. 16, with Silver Lake and Partners Group agreeing to take a smaller cash payout in the deal and instead receiving additional shares in the new Global Blue company.

Far Point is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which raised $550 million through an initial public offering (IPO) in 2018 to merge with an unspecified technology company.

Upon closing of the deal, Global Blue will become a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright (2020) Thomson Reuters.

Click for restrictions

This article was written by Joshua Franklin from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].


Jet Stream Newsletter

Airline news moves fast. Don’t miss a beat with our weekly airline newsletter. Landing in your inbox every Saturday.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: airports, luxury, retail

Photo credit: A line at Schiphol airport in The Netherlands to claim a refund on value added tax for purchase made during a European trip. Global Blue, which runs this service at Schiphol, has just changed ownership hands. Amsterdam Tourism

Up Next

Loading next stories