Advent International and Bain Capital are in exclusive talks to buy Nordic payments company Nets for more than EUR2 billion, according to Reuters.
The private equity firms teamed up with Danish state-owned pension fund ATP to win an auction, beating out three rival bidders - Permira in partnership with Canada Pension Plan, Atos, and a consortium led by Nordic Capital - says Reuters, citing sources.
Nets is privately owned by shareholders, with many of Scandinavia's biggest banks holding significant stakes. The group was established through a merger in 2009 of Denmark's PBS Holding and Norway's Nordito and now employs 2800 people in five countries and handles around a third of all Nordic card transactions.
The acquisition would be the second time that Advent and Bain have teamed up to buy a major European payment processor. In 2010 the firms paid £2 billion for an 80% stake in WorldPay, which the Royal Bank of Scotland was forced to sell under EU bail-out conditions.
Nets, Advent and Bain have not commented on the Reuters report.