Reuters reported in the early hours of March 24 that Advent International and Bain Capital had joined forces with Danish-based pension fund ATP in an agreement to purchase Nets Holding for $3.1billion.
Nets Holding, which is a payment services company, is currently owned by a number of banks in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions, believed to be 186 in total, and is headquartered in Copenhagen, the Danish capital. It is unknown which banks hold what in terms of percentages of the business, so it is unclear to what extent those stakeholders will profit or see capital returned to them.
The deal is not thought to include any debt, however, which would make the ‘average’ return $17million per bank. Overall, the business employs over 2,600 employees in five countries in the Nordic and Baltic regions. The news is also featured in the form of a press release on the Nets website.
One feature of the payment services industry given its increasingly prominent position within financial services in general is that regulatory demands are forever tightening and becoming more stringent. This prompted Nets Holding to carry out an internal operational review in 2013, which has led to the sale that has been announced today.
Peter Lybecker, chairman of Nets, said in the press release, “The outcome of this review was that Nets needs a new owner with the expertise, commitment and financial resources to develop the business in a rapidly changing payments industry.”
No other PE firms or financial institutions were in the running to buy Nets, as Reuters had previously reported earlier in March that the three buyers had been granted exclusive negotiating rights with the firm. Since the news has been made public, several banks with stakes in Nets have independently announced that they have agreed to sell their stake to Advent, Bain, and ATP.