15 October 2008, Paris – Advent International, one of the world's leading global private equity firms, announced today that it has agreed the acquisition of the card processing activities of Experian France, resulting in the creation of a new entity. Terms of the acquisition, which is subject to certain conditions including the approval of French Competition Authority, were not disclosed.
Experian’s transaction processing activities in France comprises two distinct divisions: the card processing activities, which are being acquired by Advent International; and the business process outsourcing activities, which are being acquired by Doc@Post. The gross cash consideration for both businesses is €203 million, on a debt and cash free basis. Experian continues to have a strong presence in France through its Decision Analytics and Marketing Services activities which are not affected by this transaction.
“In the current difficult environment, we are delighted to have structured an innovative deal, without debt-financing, by involving Doc@Post, an excellent strategic player,” commented Pascal Stefani, Head of Advent International in France.
Experian’s card processing division, which includes the processing of electronic payments by card, mobile, and internet for banks and retailers, is already one of the market leaders in France. Over 2 million bank cards and 3 million transport cards transactions are processed daily by its 400 employees, with over 550 million transaction recorded annually. Card transactions and card issuing are expected to grow significantly in the coming years in France, the second largest market for cards in Europe after the UK.
Advent’s strategy is to develop the company on a European level and to position it as a major player in future market consolidation. Advent will also support the company’s focus on developing new payment solutions for merchants, capitalising on the ongoing deregulation in the sector (SEPA).
Ludovic Denis, currently President of Experian France, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer of the new entity, adding his unique experience in banking and new technologies. He will be supported by the strong existing management team. The new company will also benefit from the experience of Pam Patsley, Advent operating partner and former President of First Data International and CEO of Paymentech Inc who will assist in an advisory capacity.
Guillaume Darbon, Managing Director of Advent International in France, added: “The solid technical infrastructure and the expertise of the dynamic management team, provide the new entity with strong foundations to take advantage of the growth and the ongoing consolidation of the card processing market.”
“In a rapidly evolving market, the financial support of Advent will enable us to pursue our growth at a sustainable pace, developing innovative solutions for our clients adapted to the evolution of usage and regulation,” explains Ludovic Denis, “With the company’s solid reputation in the electronic payment sector and Advent’s proven experience with complex transactions, the new business has all the key elements for strong growth”.