April 28, 2020 / 8:14 AM / a month ago

SIX sells part of Worldline stake to help fund BME takeover

FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen at the seat of Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group in Zurich, Switzerland June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss financial infrastructure group SIX has sold a 6% stake in payments company Worldline (WLN.PA) for 675 million euros ($731 million) to help fund its planned takeover of Spanish exchange operator BME (BME.MC), SIX said on Tuesday.

The deal included the sale of around 10 million Worldline shares via an accelerated bookbuilding and the unwinding of an equity collar transaction on Worldline shares from October 2019 that contributed another 1 million shares for sale.

The sale price in the accelerated bookbuild offering was set at 61.2 euros per Worldline share.

“Upon completion of the placement and the unwinding of the equity collar, SIX will still hold around 16.3% of the Worldline share capital, which continues to be a strategic investment for SIX,” it said in a statement.

It intends to use the proceeds to help finance the all-cash 2.8 billion euro acquisition of Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), which Spanish authorities approved last month.

The financing mix for the BME deal is expected to also consist of cash on its balance sheet and debt financing.

J.P. Morgan Securities plc, Credit Suisse and UBS acted as joint bookrunners of the placement.

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Louise Heavens

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