The sale of Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) card payments arm to a consortium of private equity groups Advent International and Bain Capital for £2bn (€2.4bn) has been completed after clearing the final regulatory hurdles.
RBS will retain a 19.9 per cent stake in the company, now called WorldPay, which ranks as the fourth largest card payment processor in the world. It processed 6.8 billion transactions last year, with a combined value of £243bn (€290bn).
“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,” said Ron Kalifa, CEO of WorldPay.
The market for electronic payments is growing significantly due to the continuing shift from paper-based to electronic payments like credit and debit cards as countries like the UK phase out cheques. Between 2008 and 2013, WorldPay forecasts that the total number of card payment transactions globally is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 10.5 per cent.
Private equity’s most prominent names – including Warburg Pincus, Carlyle, TPG, Permira, CVC and Providence – are all thought to have competed for RBS WorldPay, previously known as RBS Global Merchant Services.
The £2bn sale price is believed to have been met with around 50 per cent of equity from Advent and Bain and 50 per cent of debt from RBS itself.
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