US BUYOUT firms Advent and Bain Capital yesterday joined forces with Danish investor ATP to snap up card payment firm Nets, the latest sign of a revival in private equity club deals.
The two US firms will pool their resources with ATP to pay 17bn Danish crowns (£1.9bn) in cash for the company, which is based in Copenhagen and handles about 6bn credit card transactions a year.
The club deal, which sees large private firms swoop together for large businesses, was a fixture of the buyout environment before the onset of the financial crisis but has receded since.
Nets chairman Peter Lybecker said: “I am confident that we have found a highly qualified owner of Nets in the consortium consisting of Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital, which balances strong local support and understanding with extensive global expertise in the payments sector.” Nets employs 2,600 people across Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Estonia.
It has been sold by a consortium of Danish banks including Danske Bank and Nordea Bank as well as the Danish central bank. JP Morgan handled the sale process.
Bain – which was founded by former US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney – and Advent are both based in Boston but enjoy a strong European presence.
Bain has its London office in Mayfair while Advent is based in offices off Westminster.
ATP, which runs about €1.4bn for Denmark’s largest pension fund, is based in Copenhagen.
Bain and Advent pulled off a similar joint deal in 2010 when they bought credit card firm WorldPay from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Some of the biggest and best known acquisitions, including the buyout of AA and Saga owner Acromas and the mega-buyout of utility firm TXU in 2007, have been club deals.