GTCR to carve out Worldpay from FIS; Bridge Growth talks about Accedian exit; plus, women of influence

GTCR acquires controlling stake in payment processing firm Worldpay.

Good morning, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with the Wire.

GTCR just announced a big carveout. Details for premium subscribers below.

Plus, we’ve got a Deep Dive into Bridge Growth Partners’ recently announced sale of network performance specialist Accedian to Cisco.

And we’re featuring influential women in private markets throughout PEI Group publications and websites this week. Below, we’ll shine the spotlight on dealmakers from the special report.

Let’s start with the big deal.

Digital payment trends
Chicago private equity firm GTCR is buying 55 percent of Worldpay, a provider of payment processing technology, from Fidelity National Information Services for $11.7 billion. FIS will retain a 45 percent stake.

“Worldpay has established itself as a leader in the payments sector, and we see strong opportunity to enhance its existing physical, e-commerce and omni-channel presence through additional investment, allowing the business to capitalize on digital payment trends,” said Collin Roche, GTCR co-CEO and managing director, in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging the strength of the entire organization to build an even better business, positioning Worldpay for sustainable, long-term growth.”

The deal puts Worldpay at a valuation of $18.5 billion. That’s a far cry from the $43 billion Worldpay was valued at when FIS acquired it in 2019.

Among the factors hampering Worldpay’s growth in recent years were changes in payment habits during the pandemic.

Real-time visibility
Bridge Growth Partners announced an exit from Accedian last month, selling the network performance specialist to tech behemoth Cisco Systems.

Alok Singh, the co-founder, CEO and CIO of Bridge Growth, and Tom Manley, a partner of Bridge Growth who serves as the lead director of Accedian, spoke with PE Hub’s Rafael Canton about how the company experienced growth, fueled by the incoming 5G evolution.

Strategic decisions, such as hiring key leadership and developing a SaaS platform, were also important factors.

Bridge Growth, based in New York, acquired Accedian, headquartered in Montréal, in 2017. “The company grew meaningfully under our ownership,” a representative said, declining to provide specifics.

The thesis behind the investment was to take advantage of the capabilities that would be required as 5G was entering its early stages in 2017. “If you want to build high-quality businesses which have lasting value and are strategically relevant, you can’t do it in a couple of years,” Singh said. “It takes time.”

During Bridge Growth Partners’ investment in Accedian, the company transformed from a legacy hardware player in the telecom market to a full stack of software with software sensors. In its evolution, Accedian didn’t just monitor the network, it also monitored applications that operated within the network.

“In the world of data, it’s become more and more important that enterprises and service providers have visibility in what’s going on in real time,” Manley said. “I’m talking milliseconds, and that’s why Accedian became very important to a company like Cisco.”

Who run the world? Girls!
This week at PEI Group, we’re spotlighting 60 Women of Influence in Private Markets.
The 10 women in private equity are of particular interest to PE Hub readers.

You can read all about them by clicking here.

And now I want to draw your attention to three who are consummate dealmakers:

Janine Feng
With more than 25 years at Carlyle under her belt, it would not be an overstatement to describe Janine Feng as synonymous with the firm’s Asia business. Based in Hong Kong, Feng is the most senior female leader for Carlyle in Asia and focuses on buyout opportunities across the financial services, consumer and healthcare sectors. As partner and managing director of Carlyle Asia, Feng is credited with playing an instrumental role in guiding the firm’s investment team, and portfolio companies more broadly, in navigating complex pandemic-related and geopolitical difficulties in recent years. Feng serves as a mentor to junior women on the team and has helped Carlyle grow its number of female investment professionals in the region.

Saleena Goel
KKR partner Saleena Goel is described by a peer as “a true visionary” who has the “ability to spot emerging trends and see around corners to seize opportunities others simply don’t see”. Goel is head of KKR Customised Portfolio Solutions, which supports long-term strategic partnerships and builds diversified private equity exposures across funds, co-investments and secondaries. Goel established CPS in 2010 and today the unit oversees $16 billion in AUM. Goel co-led the creation of one of the largest single-asset secondaries processes of 2022, the $2 billion-plus recapitalisation of software company Internet Brands, which was crowned Secondaries Deal of the Year in the Americas by Private Equity International.

Karima Ola
LeapFrog Investments
As partner and head of African financial services at LeapFrog Investments, Karima Ola has a hand in shaping the continent’s often-overlooked private equity investment landscape. Ola’s leading role in the firm’s recent investments is a testament to her commitment to this cause: in May 2022, LeapFrog invested in payments technology provider Interswitch, and, in December, it invested in off-grid solar financier Sun King. Ola was deeply involved in all stages of due diligence for both investments, all the while leading LeapFrog’s impact steering committee. Ola also advocates for African investment on a global level, including participating in the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund last year.

On that note, I’ll sign off for today.

Tomorrow, Obey Martin Manayiti will be back with more, and I’ll see you again on Monday.

Happy dealmaking,