Who Will Win The Battle for RBS WorldPay?

There’s still a few more salvos to go in the $3.5 billion battle for RBS WorldPay, but a banking source tells peHUB that Advent International and Bain Capital could have the upper hand.

The auction, run by UBS, has attracted interest from numerous players, including Permira, Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, American Express and Moneris Solutions. But most suitors have since moved on, leaving the final showdown between two PE firm pairings: Advent with Bain, and TPG Capital with Clayton Dubilier & Rice.

RBS will ultimately choose based on price, but give Advent-Bain an edge if the offers are close.

In 2009, Advent paid $561 million to acquire a 51% stake in the payment processing business of Fifth Third Bancorp. That unit processes over $292 billion in debt and credit card sales, and our source says: “RBS will take comfort in fact that Advent did this successfully with Fifth Third last year and they’re just trying to redo same structure.”

TPG does invest in both tech and financial services, but its portfolio (past and present) does not have as close a match as Advent does with Fifth Third. CDR does not own a fin tech firm.

With so much attention paid to WorldPay and the failed Fidelity National deal, fin-tech multiples have rebounded this year. “We’re seeing the strongest companies get deals done in the 11 to 12 times [EBITDA] range and other deals in the 8 to 10 times range,” another source said.