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ATP snaps up Danish financial transaction business Nets

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  • Copenhagen, Denmark

ATP has entered into a joint venture with two other parties in the DKK17bn (€2.3bn) purchase of Danish firm Nets, a specialist financial transaction provider, in an all-cash arrangement.

Private equity houses Advent International and Bain Capital will join the fund, as both add another business to expanding Nordic portfolios.

The DKK593bn fund said the significant financial commitments made by it, as well as the private equity partners, will see a change in the composition of the company’s board, and removes the “sub-optimal” ownership structure currently in place.

Nets, which is headquartered in Denmark, currently employs 2,600 people across the Nordic region and Estonia.

However, it is currently owned by more than 180 separate banks, which sometimes also operate as customers and competitors to the firm.

“To remain competitive, Nets needs clear governance and streamlined decision-making with a commitment to make necessary investments,” the new owners said.

The Danish fund’s chief executive, Carsten Stendevad, said the “significant investment” would create value for its 4.8m  members.

“We see a compelling investment opportunity to transform Nets from a strong Nordic company into a Northern European leader within the payments industry, headquartered in Denmark,” he said.

Nets chairman Peter Lybecker said the takeover from the three parties came as a result of an extensive review on its strategic options.

“Nets needed a new owner with the expertise, commitment and financial resources to develop the business,” he said.

“The overriding focus for the Nets board has been to select the best owner, out of many interested parties, with a clear understanding of the role Nets plays in society.”

Under the new ownership structure, there will be a change in board membership.

European nationals from ATP, and both private equity houses, along with independent and employee representatives, will take control once the deal receives regulatory approval later this year.

This is the second joint venture seen from ATP this year, after it partnered PFA in a DKK3bn deal to fund state enterprise DONG Energy.

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