Nets Plans IPO as Advent, Bain Prepare to Sell Payments Firm

  • Owners expect to issue new shares worth $824 million
  • Spokesman says company likely to start trading in October

Nets Holding A/S, a Nordic payments firm owned by equity funds Advent International Corporation and Bain Capital Private Equity, as well as Danish pension fund ATP, announced it is preparing for an initial public offering.

The sale is expected to generate proceeds of about 5.5 billion kroner ($824 million) through the issue of new shares, it said in a statement on Thursday. Existing shareholders also plan to sell down their holdings. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq Copenhagen exchange, it said.

“We haven’t published a specific date, but on average this is a four to five week process, so one could imagine early October” for the stock to start trading, Karsten Anker Petersen, a spokesman for Nets, said by phone. The owners haven’t settled on how much they plan to sell, he said. The transaction is intended to “drive down debt and build a strong financial foundation under the company.”

The current consortium of owners agreed to buy Nets for 17 billion kroner from a group of Nordic banks, including Danske Bank A/S, Nordea Bank AB, DNB ASA and Denmark’s central bank, in March 2014. Nets had a first-half revenue of 3.6 billion kroner, and an adjusted net profit of 603 million kroner.

Competition in the payments market is heating up in the Nordics. Danske Bank on Thursday said it’s pairing up with VeriFone Systems Inc. to offer its MobilePay service at VeriFone terminals throughout the region. The U.S.-based payments-technology company supplies more than 60 percent of the region’s terminals, making it the largest in the Nordics, according to Danske.

Deutsche Bank AG, Morgan Stanley and Nordea have been appointed as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the IPO. Danske, DNB Markets, JPMorgan and UBS Investment Bank were appointed as joint bookrunners. Carnegie, OP Corporate Bank, SEB, Sparebank 1 Markets and Sydbank Markets have either been, or are expected to be, appointed as co-lead managers. Lazard & Co. is acting as financial adviser.

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