RBS finalises WorldPay sale

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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) finalised the sale of its WorldPay business yesterday, while new owners Advent International and Bain Capital pledged to invest £200m in the payment processing firm.

The EU-enforced sale of the £2bn business, agreed in August, leaves RBS with a 20 per cent stake in the company. Advent and Bain promised at the time to invest in technology platforms and product range for WorldPay, which processes credit and debt card payments. The new owners have announced they will invest £200m on expanding the business, which will create 250 jobs in the next six months.

Ron Kalifa, who will remain chief executive at WorldPay following the sale, said: “Independence and private ownership give us the potential to transform the payments industry through long term investment in our technology, our people and our business.”

Advent and Bain’s respective managing directors James Brocklebank and Robin Marshall will take up places on WorldPay’s board.

WorldPay processed 6.8bn transactions last year worth £243bn through brands including Streamline, which the firm says underpins half of all UK high street card payments.


RBS hired UBS to run the WorldPay auction earlier this year and the bank has advised throughout the disposal.

The contract was another win for UBS which has cashed in on the bounce-back in the M&A market, finishing in the top ten global advisers in the first half of this year. It was the top adviser in Asia Pacific, with the highest revenues in that region.

Head of EMEA investment banking Simon Warshaw and managing director Patrick Porritt were part of the team advising UBS.

Warshaw has spent 24 years at UBS, and helped found the bank’s media sector group in the 1990s. He made it onto the Guardian’s Media 100 list last year for his role in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report.

Warshaw also advised RBS on its disposal of 318 high street branches to Santander earlier this year.

UBS is currently advising BSkyB, along with Morgan Stanley, in its bid to get the best price from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. It also worked with Telefonica on its €7.5bn (£6.3bn) bid for a stake in Vivo, which fell through in July. Advent International and Bain Capital were advised by Credit Suisse, Weil Gotshal & Manges, Kirkland & Ellis, PwC, FT Advisors Ltd, First Annapolis and McKinsey & Company.

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