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Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital Private Equity complete acquisition of Nets

July 8, 2014

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  • For Advent International
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    Kreab Gavin Anderson
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    [email protected]
  • For Bain Capital
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    Kreab Gavin Anderson
    Christian Groenning
    Partner
    +45 27 63 07 55
    [email protected]
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Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital Private Equity (the “Consortium”) today announced the completion of the acquisition of Nets, one of Europe’s largest payment solutions providers. This follows approval of the transaction by the relevant Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and EU regulatory authorities.

James Brocklebank, Managing Partner with Advent International and Nets board member said: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of Nets. We are committed to investing in the company to ensure it continues to be a trusted partner for its customers and we remain very excited about the opportunity to take Nets forward. Today our work begins.”

John Helmsøe-Zinck, Managing Partner at Via Venture Partners, the management company for ATP’s IT investments and Nets board member added: “Nets has excellent products and services and in partnership with the new owners it will now have the financial resources and operational expertise to implement the major investments needed to ensure it remains a market leader. We are committed to accelerating the company’s growth and enabling the company to strengthen its international position.”

Robin Marshall, a Managing Director with Bain Capital Private Equity and Nets board member added: “Data security is of the utmost importance to us. We have followed recent revelations about abuse of credit card information by a Nets subcontractor with huge concern. We, as well as Nets, are taking this very seriously. Nets, under the previous ownership, has already commenced its own extensive review, which we believe to be thorough and wide-ranging. The new board of Nets will review this existing work, and potentially extend the scope and remit of that work where it deems appropriate.”

Inge K. Hansen (former Director of DnB, former CFO of Statoil, current Chairman of Gjensidige Forsikring) who worked with the Consortium throughout the process, will serve as Interim Chairman of Nets until a permanent independent Chairman is found. One of Mr Hansen’s first priorities will be to work with management to review progress so far on the data security issues.

About Nets

Nets connects banks, businesses, merchants and consumers via an international network, which facilitates the exchange of digital payments, identities and information – called ‘digital values’.

Founded in 1968, Nets has a strong history of securely handling payments transactions. Nets’ activities include interbank clearing, terminal and PSP services, direct debit, credit transfers, e-invoicing, e-archiving, national e-identity solutions and card acquirer and issuer payment processing. Nets operates the domestic schemes of Dankort, BankAxept, Betalingsservice, Aftalegiro, NemID and BankID and is active in card acquiring through the subsidiary Teller.

Nets was established in 2010 when Danish PBS Holding A/S (owner of PBS and PBS International) and Norwegian Nordito AS (owner of BBS and Teller) merged into a new, common group.

Nets works towards the vision of creating the future of digital values. Reflecting this, the company provides a comprehensive choice of services covering: Cards, Payment and Information Services, eSecurity and Merchant Solutions.

Nets has 2,600 employees in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Estonia. Find out more at www.nets.eu

About the Consortium

The Consortium consists of funds advised by affiliates of Advent International plc (“Advent” or “Advent International”), Bain Capital Private Equity and its affiliates (“Bain Capital”) and ATP (“ATP”, “ATP Private Equity Partners” and “Via Venture Partners”). The Consortium was formed specifically to provide the best mix of skills and experiences to ensure a smooth transition of Nets’ ownership, providing thoughtful governance to the company and working with banking customers and other stakeholders to drive long-term sustainable growth, competitiveness and service quality post-close. To complement Advent and Bain Capital’s understanding of global payments and digital infrastructure, ATP brings a deep understanding of the local environment.

The Consortium acquired Nets from a group of 186 primarily Danish and Norwegian banks for a cash consideration of 17 Bn DKK.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global investors dedicated solely to private equity. Since inception, the firm has invested in more than 290 buyout transactions in 39 countries and today has EUR 23.0 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 170 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on growth and traditional buyout and strategic repositioning transactions across five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecoms. After 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for portfolio companies.

Advent International is investing DKK 2.6 billion of equity capital in Nets.

For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com

Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension (“ATP”)

ATP manages DKK 593 billion in pension savings for 4.8 million people and is one of Europe’s largest pension investors. The objective of ATP’s investments is to protect and maximize the purchasing power of pension savings. In addition to the pension fund, ATP also consists of ATP Benefit Processing Business, handling the processing and payment of a number of welfare and social insurance schemes, including several for the Danish state. ATP Benefit Processing Business administrates benefits worth more than DKK 200 billion yearly.

ATP is investing DKK 3.6 billion in Nets, consisting of DKK 300 million of equity capital and DKK 3.3 billion structured as a payment in kind note. The payment in kind note is a quasi-equity investment with no cash interest requirement and no financial covenants. The payment in kind investment is shared between ATP Private Equity Partners that invests DKK 150 million and ATP that invest DKK 3.15 billion. ATP Private Equity Partners handle private equity investments on behalf of ATP. ATP Private Equity Partners was formed in 2001, and has since then focused on investments in private equity funds as well as co-investments with such funds. ATP Private Equity Partners is among the largest European investors in the global private equity market with an annual investment program of DKK 2–3 billion. Investment commitments include commitments to the Advent International VI & VII funds.

ATP Private Equity Partners is investing DKK 150 million of equity capital in Nets.

Via Venture Partners is among the largest investors in the Nordic region dedicated to IT company investments. Via Venture Partners Fond I & II K/S, subsidiaries of the ATP Group, was founded in 2006 and 2010, respectively. The investments are managed through the management company Via Venture Partners A/S. Via Venture Partners has DKK 2 billion at its disposal for investment purposes. Via Venture Partners is investing DKK 150 million of equity capital in Nets.

For more information, go to www.atp.dk ; www.atp-pep.com ; www.viaventurepartners.com.

About Bain Capital Private Equity

Bain Capital Private Equity has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since our founding in 1984. Our team of more than 400 investment professionals creates value for our portfolio companies through our global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including consumer/retail, financial and business services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across asset classes including credit, public equity and venture capital, and leverages the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus.

This press release has been updated to reflect the new business unit name, "Bain Capital Private Equity," which was changed from "Bain Capital" or "Bain Capital, LP."