The French bank Natixis is reported to be reviewing a potential deal with Ingenico as the companies look to expand in the rapidly consolidating payments sector.
In a statement today, Natixis confirmed “having an interest in exploring the rationale of a possible industrial combination of Natixis payment activities with Ingenico Group and its businesses and having preliminary discussions in this respect.”
Ingenico also confirmed it had “received preliminary approaches for a strategic transaction” and said it had “initiated a review of its options and of their respective merits.”
Ingenico has a market capitalisation of €4 billion. But its shares have lost close to 30% in value so far this year and the group has been the subject of takeover speculation since it made a failed £6.6 billion approach for Worldpay ahead of its UK rival’s IPO in 2015.
The potential deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg, would fit with Natixis’ strategy. The bank is keen to expand its payments business and is trying to move outside of its home market. Newly installed chief executive Francois Riahi recently told the Financial Times that while his payments business is “75% France now — we want to be 50% France by 2020.”
An agreement would be the latest example of consolidation in the European payments sector, with a slew of takeovers being pushed through in search of scale. In May, Worldline agreed to buy Swiss SIX Group’s payments unit for €2.3 billion including debt.
Last year, Hellman & Friedman acquired Denmark’s Nets in a $5.3 billion deal, and Paysafe was bought by a consortium of private equity groups for £3 billion.