Shift4 kicks off auction, sources say

Provided by Mergermarket

Shift4 Payments, the Searchlight Capital Partners-backed payments group, has launched a sale process that is attracting interest from strategics and financial sponsors, said five sources familiar with the matter.

Initial bids for the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based fintech company are due in the first half of March, said four of the sources. Shift4 is projecting that EBITDA for 2019 will be around USD 150m, two of the sources said.

A sale could value the company at over USD 2bn, two of the sources said. Another of the sources said Shift4’s strong growth supports a higher valuation.

This news service reported last November that Shift4 was in the early stages of considering a sale with Financial Technology Partners advising. The report said that Shift4 had reached out to potential strategic and private equity suitors. At the time, sources said that Shift4 could fetch a valuation at a multiple of 15x EBITDA.

Searchlight initially invested in Shift4 in 2016, when the company was called Lighthouse Network. Under founder and CEO Jared Isaacman, Shift4 has made a number of acquisitions.

Shift4 describes itself as the world’s largest independent payment gateway and provides payment services to software vendors and companies. It primarily serves firms in hospitality and leisure like Arby’s, Caesars Entertainment, Red Roof Inn, Sleep Number and the PGA Tour.

Searchlight and Shift4 declined to comment.

by Jay Antenen and Bhavna Kaul

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