Advent nearing deal to buy Canadian payments processor Nuvei, source says

By Anirban Sen and Mrinmay Dey

(Reuters) -Private equity firm Advent International is in advanced talks to buy Nuvei, a Canadian payments technology company that has received financial backing from actor Ryan Reynolds, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.

A deal could be announced soon, said the source, who asked not to be named because the discussions are confidential.

However, talks could still fall apart, the source added. The source did not reveal proposed terms of the deal.

Advent’s buyout of Nuvei, which has a market capitalization of more than $3 billion, would make it one of the more sizable take-private deals at a time when private equity dealmaking has slowed.

The Wall Street Journal first reported about Advent’s talks with Nuvei on Saturday.

Advent declined to comment, and Nuvei did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The buyout deal, if completed successfully, would mark the second deal in the past 12 months for a company backed by the Canadian-American Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds.

Last year in March, T-Mobile bought Ka’ena Corp, owner of the Deadpool actor’s budget wireless provider Mint Mobile. The deal was valued at about $1.35 billion.

Both Toronto- and Nasdaq-listed shares of Nuvei have fallen since the company acquired Paya Holdings for $1.3 billion last year. In April last year, short seller Spruce Point Capital Management LLC unveiled a short position in Nuvei, alleging the acquisition was dragging its business because Paya had been losing market share before the takeover.

Two months later, Spruce Point said it was no longer holding a short position after Nuvei’s stock price had fallen to its target range.

Nuvei, which provides technology services to help businesses process transactions, went public in September 2020 and raised $700 million, the largest-ever technology company offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange at the time.

According to its website, it processes payments for General Motors, Microsoft, Shein, and others, and operates across 200 markets.

Dealmaking in the financial services sector has witnessed an uptick in recent months. In February, Capital One agreed to acquire Discover Financial in a deal worth $35.3 billion.

Shift4, a payments processor with a market value of over $6 billion, is currently in talks to be acquired by potential buyers including Fiserv, Reuters reported last month.

Payments processors like Shift4 and Nuvei thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic as customers turned to digital payment methods, but some have since struggled to maintain growth as competition mounted and inflation took off.

Nuvei’s Toronto-listed shares have fallen far from its all-time high of C$170 ($125.54) in 2021. On Friday, the company’s shares closed at just over C$29 while its New York-listed shares closed at $21.76.

($1 = 1.3541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Devika Nair and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru and Anirban Sen in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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