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Advent, Bain in Running for Point International

Advent International and Bain Capital are in the running to buy Point International, a payments company owned by Nordic Capital, Reuters reported Tuesday. The two private equity firms have teamed up on a bid. The company is expected to fetch roughly 700 million euros ($930 million), and final bids are expected this month.

(Reuters) – A handful of buyers are still in the running to buy payments company Point International from Nordic Capital, including buyout firms Advent International and Bain Capital, three sources close to the deal said.

Advent and Bain have teamed up together to bid for the company, two of the sources added, and will go forward to put in a final offer after making second round bids, which were due by the end of September.

If successful this will be the second joint acquisition of a payment processing company by Advent and Bain after last year’s purchase of WorldPay from British lender Royal Bank of Scotland following a fiercely contested auction.

Rival payment-processing firms Tsys and First Data, controlled by U.S. buyout firm KKR, are also still in the running for Point International, one of the sources said.

Charterhouse, EQT and TPG are no longer in the process after their bids were deemed too low, the source added.

As previously reported, the company could fetch around 700 million euros ($930 million), though some have tipped it to be nearer to 950 million euros. The sale process is being run by JP Morgan, and final bids are due end of October.

As reported in September, Point could appeal to other buyout groups such as 3i Group, Bridgepoint, HgCapital and Providence Equity Partners.

The deal will likely be financed through a leveraged buyout coming largely from Scandinavian banks willing to take on big portions of debt on less aggressive terms for domestic companies. The deal may also attract mezzanine investors, which have recently been gaining ground on European transactions, given the unwillingness of banks to underwrite deals, bankers said in September.

Nordic acquired Point International in 2004. Since then, it has grown significantly, helped by the bolting on of Norway’s largest distributor of payment terminals Adimo and French firm Paybox in recent months.

Point International operates in Britain under the Commidea brand.

Point International achieved sales of about 140 million euros in 2010, according to Nordic Capital’s website, compared with 300 million Norwegian crowns ($51 million) in 2004.

Nordic Capital, Advent and Bain declined to comment. First Data and Tsys were not available to comment. ($1 = 5.919 Norwegian Crowns) ($1 = 0.753 Euros) (Reporting by Claire Ruckin; Editing by Will Waterman)