Private equity still forking out for payments businesses as Inflexion investment values Radius at £800m

Lucy White
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Radius also provides telematics services (Source: Getty)

London-based private equity firm Inflexion has today taken a £150m minority stake in payment services business Radius, in a deal showing payment technology is still in hot demand.

Radius, which was valued through the deal at £800m, provides card services (such as fuel cards) to smaller businesses with vehicle fleets. This affords these small and medium-sized firms purchasing power and customer service which might otherwise only be available to big businesses.

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Radius has also expanded into telematics, looking at telecoms and road safety services for fleets, and also offers a Mastercard business expenses card tailored to fleet owners.

“Radius is a high growth business with substantial international operations – this investment clearly demonstrates the entrepreneurial demand for a true minority investor,” said Inflexion's David Whileman. The investment was made through Inflexion's “partnership capital” model, which allows businesses to receive growth capital and operational advice without having to sell a majority stake.

Radius was founded in 1990 by chief executive Bill Holmes, and is the second-largest employer in its hometown of Crewe. It has completed more than 30 acquisitions to date and boasts more than 200,000 customers in 14 countries.

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Payment processing and merchant services businesses have proved increasingly popular with private equity firms over the past year, as businesses increasingly transition to card-based technologies.

London-based fintech investor Anacap bought out e-commerce specialist Heidelpay, while giants Advent and Bain have a string of deals in the sector under their belts including Worldpay, Nets, ICBPI and Concardis.

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