September 11, 2012 9:42 pm

TransFirst taps Financial Technology Partners for sale process

This article is provided to FT.com readers by mergermarket—a news service focused on providing actionable, origination intelligence to M&A professionals. www.mergermarket.com
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TransFirst, the Hauppauge, New York-based payment processing firm, is running a sale process, a source familiar with the matter and three industry sources told mergermarket. Financial Technology Partners is acting as TransFirst’s advisor, said the source familiar.

TransFirst and Financial Technology Partners declined to comment. The company’s owner, New York-based financial sponsor Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), did not return requests for comment.

Private equity firms and strategics are taking a look at TransFirst, which has north of USD 100m in EBITDA, said the source familiar. TransFirst could fetch more than USD 1bn, said an industry source.

The sale is still at an early stage, said a second industry source. A deal could be reached by the end of the year, said the source.

In 2007, WCAS acquired TransFirst from GTCR for USD 680m. Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch advised WCAS on the deal. TransFirst has acquired more than six companies since its inception in 1995, including Money Tree Services, PulseCard, and Bank of America Merchant Services.

Last September the company announced the purchase of Solveras Payment Solutions. Following that deal, CEO John Shlonsky told mergermarket that the company was looking for more acquisitions. In that report, Shlonsky said the company was profitable and had annual revenues over USD 500m.

The talks come as there has been a fair amount of deal activity among companies that help merchants process credit card payments.

In July, Merchant e-Solutions sold for USD 670m to Cielo, a Brazil-based electronics payment firm. Vantiv (NYSE:VNTV) and TSYS (NYSE:TSS) were in the running for the California-based merchant processor, this news service previously reported.

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