RLPC-Bankers working on 1 billion euro financings for Nets sale

LONDON Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:19pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Bankers are working on financing packages of around 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion) backing the sale of Nordic payment services company Nets Holding, banking sources said on Monday.

Nets, which is privately owned by shareholders including Nordea Bank (NDA.ST), DNB (DNB.OL) and Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO), was put up for sale earlier this year.

JP Morgan was hired to advise on the auction, which could fetch up to 2 billion euros.

Nets is attracting interest from private equity firms and strategic corporate buyers, banking sources said.

Nets was not immediately available for comment.

A pre-qualification process took place in October to decide which potential buyers would receive information memoranda and progress to the bidding stage, bankers said.

First round bids are expected to be submitted in November and the sale is likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, they added.

Bankers are preparing debt packages of 5.5 times to six times Nets' earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around 183 million euros to back private equity bids, the bankers said.

The debt could be a mix of senior leveraged loans and high yield bonds, denominated in euros, dollars and Swedish, Norwegian and Danish crowns, they added.

"A whole cocktail of financing is being considered for Nets, which looks like it is going to be a very popular credit. It (Nets) is gaining a lot of interest from potential buyers and bankers looking to finance the deal," one of the bankers said.

Nets was formed in 2009 by the merger of Norwegian payment services conglomerate Nordito AS and Danish peer PBS. It became Europe's second-largest card processor by number of card payments in 2012 after it acquired Finland's largest payment card company Luottokunta.

The acquisition of Luottokunta was backed with loans totaling $534 million, which were provided by Danske Bank, DNB Bank and Nordea Bank, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

Nets handles 33 million payment cards every year. It had 2012 revenues of 5.96 billion Danish crowns or 800 million euros and net profits of 682 million Danish crowns or 91.5 million euros.

($1 = 0.7254 euros)

(Editing by Tessa Walsh)

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