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May 9, 2022

Global Blue secures $225m to pursue strategic add-on acquisitions

Swiss technology and payments firm Global Blue has secured $225 from strategic growth equity investment to bolster growth.

The investment, which consists of $180m Series B preferred shares and $45m common shares, from CK Opportunities Fund I, an investment fund co-managed by Certares Opportunities and Knighthead Opportunities Capital Management.

The new Series B preferred shares will be issued for $8.50 per share, an estimated 62% premium over the closing price of $5.24 on 5 May 2022.

The deal is subject to shareholder approval and is expected to close next month.

Global Blue said that the new capital will support its strategy for add-on acquisitions in omnichannel retail technology.

The firm also intends to use a portion of the proceeds to fund working capital requirements linked to the core tax-free shopping business, which is currently recovering after two years of decreased activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The global reach of Certares and its affiliates in the travel and tourism segments, their portfolio of travel assets, and domain expertise is anticipated to offer new opportunities for Global Blue.

Additionally, Knighthead’s capabilities in credit and liquidity solutions to fund growth will enable the firm to tap into the market as travel continues to recover.

Global Blue CEO Jacques Stern said: “We are excited to welcome our new investors, Certares and Knighthead, a great combination of travel investors and innovative capital providers. This investment will enable Global Blue to take full advantage of the anticipated robust travel recovery while continuing to pursue our external and internal growth plans in Payment and Retail Tech.”

Certares senior managing director Tom Klein added: “Global Blue is a company benefiting from secular growth; particularly in the luxury retail market; cyclical recovery, and accelerating opportunities as omnichannel retailers increasingly adopt new solutions from strategic tech partners like Global Blue.

“We, and our partners at Knighthead, look forward to working with Global Blue’s exceptional management team to help drive value for Global Blue’s shareholders and stakeholders.”

As part of the deal, Klein will take a seat on the board of Global Blue.

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