Private equity firms Advent International and
Bain Capital are set to acquire Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) card
and online payment services arm, RBS WorldPay, for £2.025
billion ($2.7 billion).

Paying the price for its state bail out in
2008, 83 percent state-owned RBS has adhered to orders from
European regulators to sell off some of its assets.

The news of the sale follows Spanish bank
Santander’s purchase of 318 RBS branches for £1.65bn this week.

RBS WorldPay, also known as RBS Global
Merchant Services, is the fourth largest provider of card payment
services globally and the largest in the UK and Europe. The
business processed a total of 6.8bn transactions worldwide with a
value of £243bn last year.

“RBS WorldPay is a strong business with a
leading position in its markets and I am confident that it will
continue to grow and prosper under the joint ownership of Advent
International and Bain Capital,” said Ron Kalifa, who will be
leading the business as CEO.

“I am also delighted that RBS Group will hold
a minority stake in the business, providing ongoing support and
helping to maintain existing relationships with our customer and
supplier bases. We will continue to deliver the reliable products
and first-class service that our clients have come to expect from
this business and we look forward to enhancing our product
offering. This is an exciting time in the ongoing evolution of our

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RBS WorldPay was launched in 2009 to
consolidate RBS’s portfolio of payment brands, which includes
Streamline, the leading provider of POS payment services in

According to RBS, the business operates in
over 30 countries and has the ability to process up to 680
transactions per second in 113 currencies across 72 payment

“WorldPay is a unique business and we are
delighted to be supporting Ron Kalifa and his team in the next
phase of its growth,” said James Brocklebank, managing director and
head of Advent’s financial services sector team in Europe.

“Advent and Bain will be making a very
significant investment in the company to enhance its technology and
expand the range of products and services offered to merchants. Our
long-standing specialisation in financial services and payment
processing will also benefit the business as it moves forward as an
independent entity.”  

The valuation includes a £200m contingent
consideration, and the transaction, which is subject to regulatory
approval, is expected to close before the end of the year.