September 20, 2017 / 3:04 PM / in 3 months

Portuguese payments company SIBS considers sale or capital increase

LISBON/LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The owners of Portuguese payments provider SIBS are considering a potential sale or capital increase and have hired Deutsche Bank to explore its options, the company said.

The business, which is owned by several Portuguese banks and runs the country’s single ATM network Multibanco, could be worth between 400 million euros ($480 million) and 500 million euros, several banking sources told Reuters, adding that private equity funds have expressed interest in the Lisbon-based company.

An SIBS spokeswoman on Wednesday said that the company hired Deutsche Bank in June to start a strategic review and wants to take a decision on how to bring in a new investor by the end of September.

Portuguese banks have been selling non-strategic assets to reinforce capital ratios and some have said their stakes in SIBS were not a core asset.

SIBS could either pursue a sale to a private equity fund or an industry rival or, alternatively, opt for a capital increase that would be subscribed by a new investor, diluting existing shareholdings.

“The decision [on its preferred option] will be followed by a roadshow presentation for potential investors in late September or early October,” the spokeswoman said.

In the event of a sale, SIBS wants to identify a new investor by the end of the year.

SIBS more than doubled its profit to 45 million euros in 2016, while its revenue rose slightly to 167 million euros from 161 million euros.

Apart from Portugal, where it operates thousands of terminals, SIBS is active in 10 countries including Angola, Mozambique, Poland, Spain, France and Italy. ($1 = 0.8334 euros) (Additional reporting by Ben Martin; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Axel Bugge and David Goodman)

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