AXA Private Equity, the leading diversified private equity has acquired a 25% stake in Ticket Surf International (TSI), the leading French provider of e-money services, as part of an owner buy-out (OBO).
A capital restructuring at TSI will enable minority shareholders to withdraw and marks a new phase in the company’s development.
AXA Private Equity’s support, through its Innovation & Growth funds, will enable TSI to reinforce its leading position in the French online gaming market. The company aims to expand its international operations and also achieve deeper penetration in the e-commerce sector by launching a prepaid MASTERCARD and an electronic wallet.
Spun off from Orange in 2005, TSI has become the leader in the French market for prepaid cards for online gaming. It was the first company to be authorised as an e-money issuer by the Banque de France, a status that enables it to market its products throughout the EU.
Antoine Lacour (pictured), director at AXA Private Equity, says: “We look forward to working with the management and staff of TSI and are pleased to have the opportunity to help them grow strategically. TSI has been able to gain market share in a fast-growing industry by offering something that genuinely meets the needs of internet users."
TSI’s founder and director, Gilles Moro, says: “Innovation is at the heart of what we do; it has enabled us to tailor our solutions ever more closely to internet users’ need for secure payment solutions. We are well aware of AXA Private Equity’s reputation for expertise where the web is concerned, and the firm was able to help us finalise this complex transaction within a very tight timeframe.”
With a wide range of products and a presence in over 20 countries maintaining 27,000 points of sale, TSI generated nearly €100 million in transactions and €4.8 million in revenue in 2010, with €200 million in transactions expected in 2011.