Advent to hive off Experian payment business

The global buyout group is in exclusive talks with credit checking giant Experian to buy its French electronic payments business, in a week in which the firm has already executed two Latin American deals and a Japanese fund close.

Advent International, the Boston-based buyout firm, is in exclusive talks with London-listed credit-checking giant Experian to acquire the group’s French electronic payment business.

The value of the potential transaction has not been disclosed, but in a statement Advent said the business generates €60 million ($85 million) of revenue and employs 400 people. The company processes payments by card, mobile and internet banks for retailers.

Electronic payment:
'opportunites offered by
deregulation'

Advent anticipates strong growth for the business in the short and medium term due to increased use of cards for payment and more widespread use of mobile and internet payments.

If a deal is reached with Experian it will be Advent’s 10th in the global payments industry, having previously backed companies such as Paysys, Mach, MBF Cards, Cardsystem and Dolex.

“Our focus would be to develop a European growth strategy, notably through acquisition, taking advantage of a growth market and the opportunities offered by ongoing deregulation,” said Pascal Stefani, managing director of Advent in France, in a statement.

Advent has already executed two deals this week: the acquisitions of Caribbean aiport operator Aeropuertos Dominicanos and Brazilian home improvement firm Quero-Quero. The firm also held the final close on its ¥60 billion Japan Private Equity Fund.

Experian announced it would be reviewing its French operations with a view to streamlining and cutting costs in January this year. It is seeking to cut costs to the tune of $110 million per year, and is currently on course to deliver $50 million of savings in 2009, the company said in a statement.