December 17, 2018 / 8:16 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Payments firm Ingenico drops deal talks, working on new strategy plan

* Shares fall as Ingenico drops deal talks

* Ingenico to work on new strategy plan

* Payments sector has been at heart of M&A activity (Adds share price reaction)

PARIS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Payments company Ingenico , which had attracted bid interest after a string of profit warnings, said it had dropped talks over a possible deal and was working on a new strategy plan.

“Ingenico Group...hereby announces that it will not pursue discussions in response to the preliminary approaches for a strategic transaction that it has received,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

Ingenico shares were down 4 percent following its decision to abandon deal talks, taking their losses this year to around 40 percent.

Last month, Ingenico named Nicolas Huss as chief executive to lead the company’s strategic review, and Huss’ appointment had led some analysts to speculate that he might be amenable to bid offers for Ingenico.

Sources had told Reuters that Ingenico had attracted bid interest from Edenred and Natixis, only for those two companies to decide against making any offer.

Increasing use of smartphones to make online payments has triggered consolidation in the payments industry. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely)

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