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Vista considers sale of stake in US$10b fintech giant Finastra

[LONDON] Vista Equity Partners is considering the potential sale of a stake in Finastra in a deal that could value the financial technology company at more than US$10 billion including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Billionaire Robert Smith's buyout firm is working with Goldman Sachs Group to gauge interest from potential buyers, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Vista is considering selling as much as a 50 per cent stake in London-based Finastra, one of the people said.

Financial technology companies in Europe, which provide services such as handling electronic money transfers, are enjoying a dose of market euphoria. That's partly because investors are seeking alternatives to traditional European banks, many of which are still struggling to find their footing a decade after the financial crisis. Payment processor Adyen has more than doubled in value since it began trading in Amsterdam in mid-2018.

Vista bought Canadian financial services provider DH Corp for C$2.7 billion (S$2.8 billion) in 2017. It then combined the business with its Misys unit, a UK company it took private in 2012, to create Finastra. The merged entity serves about 90 of the top 100 banks globally with its systems for payments, retail banking, mortgage lending and treasury desks.

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A formal sale process hasn't started, and there's no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for Vista, Goldman Sachs and Finastra declined to comment.

Finastra has US$1.9 billion in annual revenue and more than 10,000 employees, according to its website. The company has more than US$6 billion of debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.