Advent, Bain Buy Nordic Payment Firm for $3.1 Billion

Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital LLC, two Boston-based buyout firms, and Danish pension fund ATP agreed to buy Nordic card-payment company Nets Holding A/S for 17 billion kroner ($3.1 billion).

The firms will pay 92.37 kroner a share in cash and Nets’s owners will also receive their 2.70 kroner-a-share dividend for 2013, the Ballerup, Denmark-based company said in a statement today. Nets is owned by Nordic banks including Danske Bank A/S, Nordea Bank AB, DNB ASA and Denmark’s central bank.

Advent and Bain together own credit-card processor WorldPay Ltd., which they bought from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in

2010. Nets gives them a company that services 33 million payment cards and works together with more than 260 banks in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia, according to its website.

“I’m confident that we have found a highly qualified owner of Nets in the consortium consisting of Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital, which balances strong local support and understanding with extensive global expertise in the payments sector,” Nets Chairman Peter Lybecker said in the statement.

Private-equity firms typically pool money from pension plans and endowments with a mandate to buy companies within five to six years, then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years. The firms usually keep 20 percent of the profits from investments.

Worldwide, the firms have announced $140.7 billion of takeovers this year, up from $101 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, according to Nets. JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised Nets, while UBS AG, MHS Corporate Finance and Infima advised the sellers.

“We will invest to develop the business,” Robin Marshall, a managing director at Bain Capital, said in a statement. “We want to create the Nordic payments champion.”