CVC Capital Partners is in the early stages of considering a potential bid for European payments firm Nexi SpA, people with knowledge of the matter said.
(Bloomberg) — CVC Capital Partners is in the early stages of considering a potential bid for European payments firm Nexi SpA, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The buyout firm has been evaluating Nexi for some time, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Shares of Nexi have fallen 22% in Milan trading this year, giving it a market value of €7.6 billion ($8 billion).
Other investment firms have also been studying Nexi, the people said. Buyout funds could end up partnering on a joint bid for the company given the size of the potential deal, some of the people said. Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will proceed with formal proposals.
After a slump in dealmaking, private equity firms are starting to regain the confidence to explore larger transactions. Blackstone Inc. and Permira are pursuing a potential take-private of Adevinta ASA, a European classifieds company with a market value of $12 billion.
Payments firms have proved to be popular targets. In June, Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. agreed to acquire London—listed Network International Holdings Plc for about £2.2 billion ($2.7 billion) to expand its presence in credit card processing in the Middle East. A month later, GTCR LLC struck a deal for a majority stake in Worldpay, the Fidelity National Information Services Inc. unit handling card payments for businesses across the world.
Private equity-backed Nexi has grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions in recent years to become one of the biggest players in the European payments industry. Its major shareholders include Hellman & Friedman, as well as a vehicle backed by Bain Capital and Advent International, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
It’s unclear whether Nexi’s owners would be open to a sale in the near term given the depressed valuation. Representatives for CVC, Nexi, Advent and Hellman & Friedman declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Bain didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Read More: CVC Capital Is Said to Near Kickoff of Mega Private Equity IPO
–With assistance from Daniele Lepido, Swetha Gopinath and Ruth David.
(Adds details on payments deals in fifth paragraph.)
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