Wirecard Said to Join Worldpay Contest With $9.4 Billion Bid

  • Payments processing firm Worldpay is also preparing for an IPO
  • Company has also attracted interest from private-equity firms

German payments processor Wirecard AG has joined the bidding for U.K. rival Worldpay Ltd., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Wirecard is competing against private-equity bidders, including a joint proposal from Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman, as Worldpay also prepares for a possible initial public offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private.

Its offer values Worldpay, which is owned by Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital, at about 6 billion pounds ($9.4 billion), or 17 times its projected earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation next year, one of the people said. Wirecard shares fell 2.6 percent to 36.24 euros at 9:39 a.m. in Frankfurt, giving the company a market value of 4.5 billion euros ($5.2 billion).

No final decision has been made and several potential buyers are still in the running, the people said. Advent and Bain may also choose to proceed with IPO plans and not sell the company, they said. A decision may be announced as early as next month, they said.

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 said last week.

Representatives for Wirecard, Worldpay, Bain, Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman declined to comment. An official at Advent didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Based in Aschheim near Munich, Wirecard specializes in online and mobile payments. It has worked with customers including ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Orange SA and Daimler AG’s mytaxi. Founded in 1999, Wirecard has increased its profit more than tenfold in the past decade and reported net income of 108 million euros last year.

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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