Ingenico Said to Join Bidding for Payments Firm Worldpay

  • Owners Advent, Bain are exploring IPO and sale of Worldpay
  • Company has attracted interest from Wirecard, buyout firms

Ingenico Group, a French payments-processing company, has joined the race to buy Worldpay Ltd. ahead of the U.K. rival’s planned initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ingenico has submitted an offer that would value Worldpay, which is owned by buyout firms Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital, at more than 6 billion pounds ($9.2 billion), said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks are private. Ingenico dropped 9.2 percent to 109.85 euros at 1 p.m. in Paris, giving the company a market value of 6.7 billion euros ($7.6 billion).

The bid would put Ingenico in competition with Germany’s Wirecard AG. A team of private-equity firms Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are also interested, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.

“It would reinforce Ingenico’s position outside terminals, which is services, where you need volume to leverage profitability,” Sebastien Sztabowicz, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux who rates the stock buy, said by phone from Paris. “It would also give them a leading position in transaction processing in Europe and a nice footprint in the U.S.”

Ingenico and other providers of hardware terminals including Worldline SA are seeking to tap into growth sparked by a rising number of merchants offering online and mobile shopping.

A decision on a winning bidder could come next month, the people said. Advent and Bain may also choose to proceed with an IPO, they said. Sky News reported Ingenico’s bid on Friday.

Representatives for Ingenico, Worldpay, Advent and Bain declined to comment.

London-based Worldpay, which last month named Barclays Plc Deputy Chairman Michael Rake as its next chairman, has approached banks about refinancing its debt before the potential IPO, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Founded in 1980, Ingenico competes with companies including Vantiv Inc. and Global Payments Inc. It bought Amsterdam-based GlobalCollect in an 820 million-euro deal last year and is seeking to further expand beyond selling hardware to providing services related to the growing online and mobile payment sector. Services accounted for 32 percent of Ingenico’s 2014 sales of 1.6 billion euros, up from 12 percent in 2009.

Advent and Bain Capital bought Worldpay from Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in 2010 for 1.7 billion pounds. The company, which processes in-store, mobile and online payment transactions, reported Ebitda of 375 million pounds last year, on revenue of 3.6 billion pounds, according to its website.

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