Denmark

Nets to be acquired by Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital

Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital are to acquire 100 per cent of the share capital of Nets from the existing shareholders, a group of 186 primarily Danish and Norwegian banks, for a cash consideration of DKK17.0bn, corresponding to a price per share of DKK92.37.

In addition, the shareholders will receive the dividend for 2013 totalling DKK498m, or DKK2.70 per share.
 
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals/confirmations and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.
 
Nets, headquartered in Copenhagen, is a Northern European provider of payments, information and digital identity solutions. Founded in 1968, Nets employs 2,600 employees in five countries (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Estonia) and connects banks, merchants and businesses through its network. In 2013, the company handled more than six billion card transactions supporting more than 33 million payment cards and over 500,000 merchants in the Nordics.
 
Peter Lybecker, chairman of Nets, says: “Today’s announcement has been preceded by an extensive review of Nets’ strategic alternatives. 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. The overriding focus for the board of directors of Nets has been to select the best owner out of many interested parties with a clear understanding of the role Nets plays in society, including the importance of developing Nets’ unique sector solutions such as Dankort and BankAxept and the need for safeguarding data.”
 
Advent International and Bain Capital have made numerous direct investments in the Nordic region over the last 20 years, and ATP, based in Denmark, manages DKK593bn in pension savings for 4.8 million Danish citizens.
 
Carsten Stendevad, chief executive of ATP, says: “For ATP this represents a significant investment which we believe will create substantial value for our members. We see a compelling investment opportunity to transform Nets from a strong Nordic company into a Northern European leader within the payments industry, headquartered in Denmark. We are pleased to partner with Advent International and Bain Capital who bring deep insight into the industry and we look forward to playing an active role in growing and improving the business.”
 
James Brocklebank, managing partner and head of Advent International’s financial services sector team in Europe, says: “We are proud to have been selected as one of the new investors in Nets, and we will put our resources, sector expertise and relationships to work to benefit the company’s customers, employees and other important stakeholders. We are well aware of the responsibilities that come with ownership of a critical infrastructure provider as we have a strong track record of investing in and growing similar businesses in Europe and globally.”
 
Robin Marshall, managing director and co-head of Bain Capital’s financial services team in Europe, says: “Nets is a household name across the Nordics with a strong reputation built on a foundation of trust. Our history of working with similar businesses has taught us that a reputation for operational reliability and rigorous data protection is hard won and easily lost, and both will be absolute priorities for us in the years ahead. We bring a strong pool of operating resources and are committed to supporting the company’s management in accelerating the growth and maximising the potential of Nets.”

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