Vista Equity Partners Near Agreement to Buy DH Corp.

  • Buyout firm could announce deal for Canadian company this week
  • Decline in DH’s check-printing business has been accelerating

Vista Equity Partners LLC is nearing a deal to acquire Canadian financial services provider DH Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

The buyout firm is in advanced talks to acquire DH Corp., and an agreement could be announced as soon as this week, according to the people. If a deal is completed, Vista plans to merge DH Corp. with Misys Ltd., which it bought in 2012, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. DH Corp. has a market value of about C$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion). 

No deal has been signed yet, and negotiations could still fall apart, the people said. 

DH Corp., founded in 1875 as Davis + Henderson, attempted to transform itself into a financial technology company from a traditional check-printing company in recent years as demand for paper checks declined. It completed a series of acquisitions to that end, including a $1.25 billion purchase of payment-technology company Fundtech Ltd. in 2015. 

A spokesman for Vista declined to comment. A representative for DH Corp. didn’t immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment outside regular business hours.

Any deal would add to the $1.5 billion of private equity transactions involving Canadian targets this year, down from $3.1 billion during the same period in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. DH Corp. said in December it was working Credit Suisse Group AG and Royal Bank of Canada to explore a sale. 

Shares of DH Corp. have fallen 37 percent in the last year, as the decline in its check-making business accelerated faster than anticipated. The company’s services are used by 8,000 banks, specialty lenders, credit unions, governments and corporations, according to its website. It has more than 5,500 employees worldwide, with revenue of almost C$1.7 billion last year.

— With assistance by Gerrit De Vynck

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