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Bankers prep S-1 for Madison Dearborn’s Evo; deal timing still unclear

Bankers are preparing an S-1 filing for the sale of Evo Payments International, a Madison Dearborn Partners portfolio company, but the timing of the deal remains unclear, sources said.

The payments processor is on a dual-track process, exploring both a sale and an IPO, people said. Deutsche Bank AG and JP Morgan Chase are advising, the people said.

The bankers expect to use the S-1 as a selling memorandum, sources said. The bankers will take the S-1 to potential bidders and gauge their interest in Evo before deciding whether to take it public, the people said.

Bankers pointed to TransFirst and WorldPay as examples.

Vista Equity Partners acquired TransFirst in November 2014. In October 2015, TransFirst filed to go public but ended up selling to TSYS in January 2016 for $2.35 billion. In 2015, WorldPay hired bankers to prepare for an IPO, but the payments company was also considering an auction, Reuters reported. WorldPay ended up going public that year.

Bloomberg reported in March that Evo was exploring a sale and an IPO. A sale of the payments processor could be valued at $2 billion, the story said.

Madison Dearborn acquired a minority stake in Evo in 2013. The Chicago buyout shop committed to invest $250 million in EVO, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

EVO, Atlanta, is a payments processor and acquirer for merchants, independent sales organizations, financial institutions, government organizations, and multinational corporations. Earlier this year, EVO acquired Sterling Payment Technologies.

Madison Dearborn’s latest flagship fund closed at $4.4 billion in August, Buyouts reported. Madison Dearborn launched the fund with a $3.75 billion target in 2014, Buyouts said.

Executives for Evo and MDP declined comment. Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact Kevin Hodges, Evo’s CFO, at

Correction: A prior version of this story said that TSYS acquired TransFirst for $1.5 billion. That is incorrect. TSYS acquired TransFirst for $2.35 billion. The story has been changed. 

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