Helios Investment Partners Reportedly Offering Stake in Crown Agents Bank

A stake in Crown Agents Bank may be up for sale.

Private equity investor Helios Investment Partners is working to sell a stake in the provider of cross-border payments, Reuters reported Wednesday (March 15), citing unnamed sources.

Helios Investment Partners and Crown Agents Bank did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

The valuation of Crown Agents Bank could be as much as 800 million pounds (about $962 million) or more than 1 billion pounds (about $1.2 billion), different sources said in the report.

Helios Investment Partners had been planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) for Crown Agents Bank as soon as the second quarter. Still, it is now seeking buyers instead after equity markets were rattled by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, according to the report.

Crown Agents Bank is a United Kingdom-regulated bank that facilitates payments involving emerging markets, using foreign exchange (FX) and payments technology to connect hard-to-reach regional to global financial infrastructure, according to the bank’s website.

PYMNTS research has found that businesses in both the U.K. and the United States believe cross-border payments innovation can deliver benefits like cost reduction, enhanced cash management and fraud protection.

Both U.K. and U.S. companies are eager to improve the speed, efficiency and security of the cross-border payments that have become central to their success, with each business across the board prioritizing innovations that address the unique payments frictions they face, according to “Innovating Cross-Border Payments,” a PYMNTS and Visa collaboration.

The report about a stake in Crown Agents Bank being up for sale comes about a week after Railsr, the U.K.-based embedded finance platform formerly known as Railsbank, was sold to a consortium of global investors.

Railsr will stay headquarters in London after being purchased and recapitalized by the consortium Embedded Finance Limited, which is backed by D Squared CapitalMoneta VC and Ventura Capital.

The report also comes about a week after the British government announced that it is investing 370 million pounds (about $446 million) to support “future industries” by improving infrastructure, investment and skills needed for growing technologies ranging from quantum and supercomputing to artificial intelligence (AI).