M&A activity within the merchant acquiring industry witnessed a bounce back from earlier in the year when COVID-19’s affect on the economy impacted the development of deal making. While M&A movement within the industry suffered in the second quarter, the progression and closure of deals picked up in the third quarter as national payment volumes began to return to a normalized level. This level of activity persists in the fourth quarter with several weekly new deal announcements occurring throughout the past month. Although deal activity was lacking this week, it is suspected that the consistency of new transactions will persist throughout the end of the year given that payment volumes remain steady.
The irregularity of this year has also largely affected the course of companies going public and listing on the stock exchange. While traditional IPOs are typically a common occurrence, this year has witnessed a rise in special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) taking private organizations public. A couple examples of this in the payments space include Paya and BillTrust in just the last few months. Additionally, it is suspected that Paysafe Group has held conversations with a SPAC as an approach to go public bypassing the traditional IPO method, although nothing definite at this point.