Activist investor Dan Loeb, Chinese tycoon Jack Ma and Silver Lake joined forces to bet on the business of luxury shoppers’ tax refunds, and on the future of travelers splurging when abroad.

Global Blue SA will get $1 billion of investment from Far Point Acquisition Corp. and new investors as part of a merger that will list the combined firm on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a statement from the companies on Thursday.

Far Point was started in 2018 by Loeb’s firm and former New York Stock Exchange President Thomas Farley as a “blank-check company” to acquire financial technology firms. It’ll combine with Global Blue in a deal valuing the Swiss firm at 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) including debt, the companies said.

Silver Lake-owned Global Blue, a Swiss company, owns kiosks at airports and stores, like London’s Harrods, that let shoppers claim sales tax refunds when they fly home. Silver Lake agreed to buy control of Global Blue in 2012 for about 1 billion euros.

Ant Financial Services Group, part of Ma’s empire, will invest $125 million and Loeb’s Third Point will put in $100 million, according to the statement. Global Blue’s current owners, including private equity investor Silver Lake, will hold about 42% of the combined firm.

Farley will become the chairman of the combined firm, which will see Global Blue Chief Executive Officer Jacques Stern continue in his role.


This article was provided by Bloomberg News.