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Report: CVC Sets Sights on Payments Firm Nexi

CVC Capital Partners on smartphone

CVC Capital Partners is reportedly considering purchasing European payments company Nexi.

As Bloomberg News reported Wednesday (Oct. 18), sources say the buyout firm has been eyeing Nexi for some time, as have other investment operations.

Some of the sources said that buyout firms could ultimately float a joint bid for Nexi, due to the size of the potential purchase. The sources say Nexi is one of several companies being considered by CVC.

Representatives for both companies declined to comment when reached by PYMNTS.

As Bloomberg notes, private equity firms are growing more confident following a downturn in dealmaking, with payment companies a popular acquisition target.

For example, Brookfield Asset Management agreed in June to acquire Network International for about $2.7 billion to expand its credit card processing presence in the Middle East. That deal followed an earlier offer by CVC worth around $2.5 billion.

And in July, FIS announced it was selling its majority stake in its merchant services business Worldpay to private equity group GTCR for $18.5 billion. The deal was reportedly the largest buyout financing since Elon Musk purchased Twitter.

PYMNTS spoke with Nexi Head of Digital Issuing Products and Mobile Payments Manager Emiliano Imbimbo earlier this year about data showing mobile transactions at the point of sale (POS) in Italy jumped by 139% in the first six months of 2022 versus the same period in 2021.

A bulk of those purchases were made using the AppleGoogle and Samsung payment apps, leading Imbimbo to the view that these “digital giants” are crucial growth enablers in the region’s digital payment ecosystem.

“Because their solutions are based on cards, [digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay] support the digitization of payments through payment cards,” he told PYMNTS. “And thanks to the better user experience and the wider adoption they have [among] the population, we see them as a big enabler for the market.”

And while Italy also has its own mobile wallets, Imbimbo added that contactless transactions via Big Tech wallets are “driving the market,” particularly in Italy, and are where the “real innovation” has happened at the POS.