A sign of investor appetite for innovative payments

KKR has won the race to buy German payments group Heidelpay for more than €600 million in a fresh sign of investor appetite for companies that offer digital alternatives to cash. The private equity group’s offer for the AnaCap-owned business beat rival interest from Sweden’s Nordic Capital and EQT… M&A activity in the payments sector has been booming in recent years, with 2019 becoming the third successive year of record-breaking deal volumes. A structural shift towards digital and online payments instead of cash has driven up valuations and encouraged companies to combine in search of greater scale and geographic reach. Heidelpay enables its clients to accept online and mobile payments, and is used by more than 30,000 merchants including companies such as L’Oréal… Private equity groups have been involved in several payments deals in recent years. A consortium led by CVC and Blackstone bought Paysafe for £3 billion in 2017, while Hellman & Friedman bought Nets for $5.3 billion a year later before combining it with Concardis, which was owned by Bain Capital and Advent. KKR was also involved in one of this year’s biggest payments deals, the $39 billion sale of First Data to Fiserv. 

Javier Espinoza