Carlyle Cardinal puts Payzone on the block in €100m sell-off plan
Private equity fund bought payments business in 2015 for close to €40m
Electronic payments business Payzone has been put on the market by private equity fund Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) and is expected to fetch a price of between €90m and €110m, the Sunday Independent has learned.
Global corporate finance adviser Arma Partners has been appointed to handle the process.
It is understood that the sale process was triggered by an unsolicited approach for the business and there is strong interest from both trade and non-trade buyers. An international buyer is likely, sources said.
CCI, which is backed in part by the State, bought Payzone in 2015 for €39m. The sale is expected to more than double the initial purchase price.
Payzone chairman Mike Maloney and some other senior managers also have a small stake in the business.
Founded in 1989, the company, which originally traded as Alphyra, handles over one billion transactions annually.
When CCI bought the business it had an ebitda of around €6m, but changes in shopping habits have sparked significant growth for Payzone since 2015. It has over 7,000 retail agents which process a variety of electronic transactions services, including mobile phone top-ups, debit/credit card transactions, M50 motorway toll payments and Leap travel cards.
Based in Sandyford, Dublin, the company employs over 70 people in Ireland.
If the Payzone deal goes ahead, it would be the third recent exit for CCI. In March, CCI exited its majority stake in cash-in-transit business General Secure Logistics Services (GSLS) as part of a sale of the business to European fund manager STAR Capital. CCI bought its 51.5pc stake in GSLS in September 2014, in a deal that valued the company at €30m.
The fund is understood to have doubled its money as a result of the sale and a refinancing last December that was used to repay shareholder loans.
In December, CCI agreed to sell its stake in the Lily O'Brien's chocolates business to a Polish company for €40m.
CCI's portfolio also includes cooked meats group Carroll Cuisine, AA Ireland and the Sam McCauley chemists shop chain.
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