Buy now, pay later: Twitter boss lobs $39b deal for Aussie Afterpay

Australian buy-now, pay-later giant Afterpay has agreed to a merger with Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc valuing the company at $39 billion, an $11 billion premium to its current capitalisation.

Aug 02, 2021, updated Aug 02, 2021
American tech billionaire and Block CEO Jack Dorsey

American tech billionaire and Block CEO Jack Dorsey

The company announced this morning that it had entered into a scheme implementation deed with digital payments company Square for all shares in the company by way of a recommended court approved scheme of arrangement.

Its shares were up 24 per cent by lunchtime to $119.65.

The deal is likely to be just a taste of what’s ahead for investors as cashed up companies look for mergers and acquisitions. Santos has this morning made a renewed bid for Oil Search at $4.52 a share.

If it goes ahead as expected it would be Australia’s biggest every corporate deal.

The upcoming profit reporting season is also likely to deliver huge dividends for shareholders and there is speculation that CBA will provide a huge special dividend for investors.

“The transaction has an implied value of approximately $US29 billion ($A39 billion) based on the closing price of Square common stock on July 30 and would be paid in shares,” Afterpay said in an announcement to the ASX this morning.

“The acquisition aims to enable the companies to better deliver compelling financial products and services that expand access to more consumers and drive incremental revenue for merchants of all sizes.”

The deal was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Under the offer, which has been approved by the board of Afterpay, shareholders will receive 0.375 shares in Square’s class A stock for each share held in Afterpay. Square’s shares are trading at $US247.26.

Dorsey, who also created Twitter, has wealth estimated by Forbes at $US13.8 billion while Square’s market value is more than $US110 billion.

“Square and Afterpay have a shared purpose,” Dorsey said.

“We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible and inclusive and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles.

“Together, we can better connect our Cash app and Seller ecosystems to deliver even more compelling products and services for merchants and consumers, putting power back in their hands.”

Afterpay founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar said by combining with Square the company would be able to accelerate its growth in the US and globally.

“The transaction marks an important recognition of the Australian technology sector as homegrown innovation continue to be shared more broadly throughout the world,” they said in a joint statement.

“It also provides our shareholders with the opportunity to be part  of future growth of an innovative company aligned with our vision.”

Both Eisen and Molnar will work for Square following the completion of the deal.




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