International

Eurazeo Taps Citi, Evercore To Unload Planet Payments Unit

payments processing

French buyout fund Eurazeo has enlisted the help of Citigroup and Evercore to sell its payments enterprise Planet, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Jan. 22), citing three sources.

Eurazeo is looking to initiate an auction process in March as it seeks to cash in on eCommerce and smartphone payments, two of the sources said.

Citi and Evercore prevailed last month to negotiate the sale, following an agreement with Silver Lake to fuse Global Blue — Planet’s competitor — with Far Point, which was set up by hedge fund Third Point, according to the news outlet. 

Headquartered in Galway, Ireland, Planet offers 400,000-plus sellers and 100 partner banks payments services and tax refunds.

Eurazeo acquired NASDAQ-listed Planet in 2017 for a €109 million investment through Fintrax Group.

Sources told Reuters that Eurazeo “is looking to cash out at a multiple of 15 to 20 times Planet’s core earnings,” which top €100 million, two of the sources said. The price is anticipated to extend beyond €1.5 billion.

Asian and Western companies “will be targeted in the sale” along with other investment funds, one of the sources said.

Planet rival Adyen, listed in Amsterdam in 2018, is supported by General Atlantic and Temasek. Adyen handles payments for Airbnb and Netflix. Its valuation is €23.5 billion and trades at 56 times its expected core earnings.

“Growth in payment systems has kept deals rolling even as potential mergers in other sectors have stalled on concerns about trade tensions and a global economic slowdown,” the report said.

In February 2019, Planet rival Adyen introduced a new payment service powered by open banking. Launched as an alternative to card payments, it was said to take advantage of the European Union’s Payment Service Directive (PSD2) requirement for banks to create application programming interfaces (APIs) for third parties to initiate payments for consumers. 

Ayden handles the flow of payment between banks and merchants. Open banking payments are authenticated between consumers and their banks, enabling merchants to bypass chargebacks from fraud.

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