UPDATE 1-Apollo-backed Evertec explores sale-sources

Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:04pm EST

(Adds details about Evertec)

By Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is exploring a sale of payment processing company Evertec Inc after filing plans to take it public earlier this month, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Evertec, in which Apollo has a controlling stake, filed with U.S. regulators in February to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering.

At the same time, Apollo is weighing whether a private sale could generate higher returns than a public offering and has held early talks with interested parties, in what is known as a dual track process, the sources said.

Evertec has about $160 million in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and could be sold for a double-digit EBITDA multiple, two of the sources said. The company was valued at around $900 million in 2010 when Apollo acquired a majority stake.

Goldman Sachs Group, one of the underwriters on the proposed IPO, is advising Apollo on a potential sale, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the matter is not public. Apollo and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Apollo, which acquired Evertec from Puerto Rican lender Popular Inc in 2010, owns a 51 percent stake in the company. Popular retains 49 percent and is Evertec's largest customer.

Evertec processes more than 1.2 billion transactions annually and manages the electronic payment network for over 4,900 automated teller machines and over 107,000 point-of-sale payment terminals, the company said in its IPO filing. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in Berlin and Soyoung Kim in New York; editing by John Wallace)

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