First Data has come clean about ongoing talks to buy North American payments processor Blue Pay after a draft news release announcing an agreed acquisition and conference call was inadvertently posted on the vendor's Website.
First Data immediately pulled the original release and issued a clarifying statement: "First Data confirmed that it is currently in discussions with BluePay with respect to a potential transaction, but that a potential transaction has not yet been finalised. There can be no assurance that a transaction will be finalized and, if so, what will be the terms and conditions of any such transaction. As such, the conference call that was announced in the draft news release will not be held this morning."
Through online and mobile interfaces, as well as CRM and ERP software integrations, BluePay provides business-to-consumer and business-to-business payments processing services for 53,000 customers. The company claims that $16 billion in annual payment volume passes over its platform.
TA Associates acquired a majority stake in the firm from Goldman Sachs in 2013 and has since worked hand-in-hand with the management team to help steer an aggressive acquisition strategy and to strengthen the firm's sales and marketing channels. With M&A interest in payment processors currently at an all-time high TA could be looking at a highly profitable exit.
Update The following morning, First Data announces deal to acquire BluePay for $760 million in cash.