Blackstone Takes $820M NCR Stake (Finally)

The rumors surrounding the linkup between Blackstone and NCR proved prescient.

As reported by several outlets late last week, the private equity giant took a 17 percent stake in the payments hardware and software player to the tune of $820 million.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (Nov. 12) that the investment came through, roughly in line with earlier reports of a Blackstone minority stake.

NCR, for its part, said the investment would be used in part to quicken its transformation away from a predominant reliance on hardware and toward a more software and services-oriented business model. The funding from Blackstone, NCR said, would also be used to help underpin a $1 billion stock buyback. Based on Friday’s closing price, that would represent a significant chunk of the roughly $4.5 billion market cap.

In reference to the firm’s push into software, NCR said that it has launched software known as Kalpana, which has been geared to replace software that has been on its hardware and ATM systems and is a way for equipment owners to cut some operating costs, WSJ reported.

As has been widely reported, earlier this year, NCR was in the crosshairs of several companies looking to buy a slice of the company, or the whole enterprise outright. Over the summer, a consortium of investors, including Blackstone and fellow private equity firm Carlyle, Apollo Global Management LLC and Thomas Bravo LLC, bid $10 billion for NCR. That would have taken the form of a leveraged buyout, including debt.

NCR’s history goes back to the nineteenth century. The firm invented the cash register, and now its hardware roster includes ATMs. The company has been late into the cloud, critics claim, and now has been scrambling to keep pace with new tech peers.

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