Payments firm REPAY explores sale: sources

(Reuters) - Realtime Electronic Payments (REPAY) is exploring a sale that could value the private equity-owned provider of payment services to the consumer finance industry at up to $900 million, including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Corsair Capital, the buyout firm that owns REPAY, is seeking to sell the Atlanta, Georgia-based company to capitalize on the growth of online commerce, which has increased demand for companies that facilitate cashless payments, the sources said.

Corsair has hired investment bank FT Partners to run an auction for REPAY, which generates 12-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $45 million, one of the sources said.

The process was launched after Corsair was approached by parties that were interested in buying REPAY, the source added.

A spokesman for Corsair Capital declined to comment. FT Partners did not respond to a request for comment.

A deal for REPAY could yield a substantial return for Corsair Capital, which bought the firm in 2016 from private equity peer New Capital Partners. Media reports at the time put the purchase price at around $150 million.

REPAY was founded in 2006 by its current management team, which still owns a small part of the company. Its offerings include processing of payments by credit and debit cards, electronic bill payments and instant funding.

REPAY has made a number of bolt-on acquisitions since it was acquired by Corsair, including payments firms specializing in the automotive and accounts receivables management industries, according to the company’s website.

Corsair announced earlier this week that it will acquire a majority stake in tax preparation firm Jackson Hewitt from an affiliate of H.I.G. Bayside Capital.

Reporting by David French in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli