RBS gets trio of bids for WorldPay division
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has received three second round bids for its £2.6bn payment processing business WorldPay.
Three private equity vehicles tabled bids before the Monday deadline, according to sources close to the matter.
As expected, Advent International and Bain have teamed up, while TPG has also bid and so has Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The Advent/Bain consortium is seen as the front runner.
RBS is being forced to sell the global merchant services (GMS) unit, which includes the WorldPay business, by EU regulators as the penalty for taking state aid.
A host of big names have been linked to the prized asset since it came on the market. American Express is believed to have made a first round bid alongside UK private equity firm Permira. And French software firm Atos Origin joined the private equity consortium of CVC Capital Partners and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe in the run-in to the deadline.
RBS is understood to prefer a sale to a strategic partnership capable of running the payment processing business.
Altogether five bids, including four from private equity firms, had been selected to move through to the second round of bidding.
RBS hired UBS to run the WorldPay auction earlier this year and is keen to complete a deal by 6 August when it reports its first-half results.
The contract is 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. It has also advised on the three largest cross border M&A transactions this year.
It is advising BSkyB, along with Morgan Stanley, in its bid to take the network operator back under Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp umbrella.
It is also advising Zain on the $11bn (£7.2bn) sale of its African operations to Bharti Airtel, with Zain expecting to receive up to an additional $400m payout upon certain milestones being achieved.
UBS was Telefonica’s banking adviser in its failed attempt to wrest control of Portugal Telecom’s €7.15bn (£6.04bn) share of the joint venture the two share in Brazilian telecoms operator Vivo. The bid was overruled by the Portuguese government.