Natixis SA’s payments business is exploring a potential combination with the 4 billion-euro ($4.6 billion) French fintech company Ingenico Group SA, following a string of deals in the sector.
Natixis Payment Solutions has held preliminary talks with Ingenico, the French bank said in a statement on Thursday, confirming a Bloomberg report that the two companies were in talks on a deal. The bank said it would inform the market “if and when necessary” on further steps and that it remains committed to strong financial discipline.
In a separate statement Thursday, Ingenico said it has received preliminary approaches, and that it has begun a review of its options. Ingenico’s share price increased as much as 12.7 percent in early trading in Paris, the biggest jump in over three years. Natixis fell as much as 4.8 percent.
Paris-based Ingenico is one of the few large firms to remain independent in the rapidly consolidating payments industry in Europe. In one of the most notable transactions in recent months, Atos SE’s Worldline agreed to buy SIX Group AG’s payments business for about 2.3 billion euros in May following a months-long bidding war for the Swiss asset. Natixis also submitted a bid for that asset, people familiar with the matter said at the time.
Private equity firms flush with cash have been weighing a takeover of Ingenico, people familiar with the matter said in June. Potential suitors at that time included CVC Capital Partners, Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital, they said.
Shares of Ingenico have fallen 29 percent this year under-performing rivals including Dutch payment firm Adyen NV, whose shares have more than doubled since its initial public offering in June. (Bloomberg)