Economy

American private equity firm makes $5.3bn offer for Nets

Payments firm Nets said it has received a takeover offer worth 33.1 billion Danish crowns (S$7.14 billion) from United States private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, in what could rank as one of the take-private deals in Europe in recent years.

Danish payments services group Nets said on September 25 it received and would recommend an offer from funds controlled by Hellman & Friedman and other investors. Nets shares rose 6.4 percent higher in early trade. The two firms now own 40 percent of Nets. On Monday, it said the offer from Evergood 5 AS represented a 27% premium to Nets' share price the day before it made that announcement.

A deal will require acceptance of shareholders representing 90 percent of Nets' capital and following a deal Bain and Advent have agreed to maintain a 16 percent stake in Nets.

In response to media speculation, Nordic payments processor Nets has confirmed that it has received a DKK 33.1 billion ($5.3 billion) takeover offer.

Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are leading a debt financing backing the buyout and are set to be joined by other banks shortly, banking sources said.

Stefan Götz, MD of Hellman & Friedman, says: "Our flexible and long-term capital, growth focus and sector expertise are assets that we believe will help Nets remain competitive in this increasingly challenging and consolidating environment".



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