TransFirst pursuing sale along with IPO, sources say

Provided exclusively by Mergermarket

Vista Equity Partners is exploring a sale of portfolio company TransFirst as it simultaneously prepares for an IPO, said a source familiar with the matter and a sector advisor.

The Hauppauge, New York-based payments group has been in contact with potential strategic buyers, some of whom have already passed on the opportunity, the source said.

Vista acquired TransFirst last fall for USD 1.5bn, days before then owner Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe planned to launch an IPO.

Since then, Vista has soured on the purchase and wants to exit its investment, a second source familiar with the matter said. If the private equity firm finds a buyer for the entire company, the same source said he expects Vista would be happy to sell.

Vista specializes in investing in technology companies. TransFirst’s primary business is selling payments services to merchants.

This news service reported in August that TransFirst held a bake off to select IPO underwriters. The company has selected a slate, the second source and a second sector advisor said. The names of the underwriters could not be learned.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank were lined up to lead the 2014 IPO. Jefferies, not on the syndicate, financed the Vista acquisition.

A spokesperson for TransFirst declined to comment and a Vista spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

by Jay Antenen and Antonita Madonna

As seen in the mergermarket newsletter on 23/09/2015

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