STOCKHOLM/LONDON Private equity firms Advent International and Bain Capital have entered exclusive talks to buy Danish card payment services company Nets Holding for more than 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion), two people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Advent and Bain, which jointly own British payment processing company WorldPay and have teamed up for the Nets bid with Danish state-owned pension fund ATP, beat three other bidders in the final round of the auction, the sources said.
Nets and Advent declined to comment. Bain could not immediately be reached for comment.
The three other bidders were private equity fund Permira in partnership with Canada Pension Plan, French IT services company Atos and a consortium led by Swedish private equity firm Nordic Capital.
Nets Holding, which is privately owned by shareholders including Nordic banks Nordea, DNB and Danske Bank, was put up for sale last year when JP Morgan was hired to advise on the auction.
The buyout is likely to be backed with a debt-financing package totaling between six and seven times Nets' approximate 183 million euro earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), denominated in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish crowns, as well as euros or dollars, banking sources have said.
($1 = 0.7180 Euros)
(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Claire Ruckin; Editing by David Goodman)