French payments firm Worldline is in the final stages of a talk to sell its point-of-sale (POS) terminal business to Apollo Global Management, reported WSJ.

The potential deal would see Apollo buy hardware that enables consumers to make purchases using their mobile phones and payment cards, for about $2.3bn, people with knowledge of the development told the publication.

According to the sources, the companies are expected to officially announce the deal in the coming days if the talks do not fall apart in the final stage.

Worldline started a strategic review of the POS business in October 2020, following its $9.2bn acquisition of French peer Ingenico Group.

The move was part of the firm’s strategy to transition from ‘hardware + service’ to ‘Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS) business model and indicated that hardware-terminal business may require a new management and funding to support its transition to SaaS model.

According to a Bloomberg report in October 2020, the firm was seeking to sell the Terminal Solution & Services (TSS) unit at a valuation of €3bn.

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UBS and BNP Paribas were hired by Worldline seeking their advice on strategic options for the unit.

Meanwhile, Apollo is not the only private equity firm to push into the payment market

In 2018, a group led by buyout firm Francisco Partners acquired US-based POS terminal and payment technology provider Verifone Systems in a $3.4bn deal.

Recent developments at Worldline

Earlier this month, Worldline said it is planning to hire thousands of employees as part of its new strategic plan, which also includes plan for geographical expansion and investment in technology.

In December 2021, Worldline signed a partnership agreement with Brazilian peer Bexs Pay to facilitate cross-border remittance solutions for online payments from Brazil.

The same month, the firm agreed to purchase an 80% interest in Eurobank’s merchant acquiring unit, for €256m.