Aquiline selling Clear2Pay? Deja vu Infosys deal

The Private Equity Firm Aquiline Holdings LLC is exploring the sale of its Belgian financial services provider (could be partly) – Clear2Pay – according to a report from Reuters. However, the Firm has yet to hire a bank to oversee the sale.

Clear2Pay was founded in 2001 by Michael Akkermans (CEO) and Jurgen Ingels (CFO). The company received a $73.5 Mn funding through Aquiline Capital in 2009. It was acquired by Aquiline LLC Holdings the same year. Clear2Pay has acquired a total funding of $128 Mn. The company employs around 1200 persons globally.

Clear2Pay’s platform focuses on providing global solutions for timely, secure and streamlined payments processing. The company says that its Open Payment Framework (OPF) lets financial institutions improve the efficiency of their internal payments processing. Clear2Pay’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) solution offers the ability for financial institutions to process payments through a centralized payments engine. The company’s clients include Banco Santander, ING Groep and Bank of New York Melon Corp.

The sale of Clear2Pay could fetch Aquiline Holdings a sum of around €400 Mn ($540.32 Mn 6th Nov 2013) according to Reuters. The CEO of Clear2Pay had an interesting response to the statement. Clarity is a guiding principle in our company, and as such we care to reply to this statement to position quite clearly to our clients, analysts, staff, media and other stakeholders in our industry where we stand on this matter said Michael Akkermans.

Aquiline is one of the private equity/venture capital investors in our company and we have enjoyed a very fruitful and excellent working relationship since December 2009. Professional investors do invest and sell their stakes at chosen times; this is what they are supposed to do. However this does not mean that the company as a whole will be sold. We are in the midst of a very active year and we, and our 1,200 staff globally, focus on building the company out further and selling the company is not part of that' he added.

Companies with good business from banks such as SAP AG or Oracle in the technology sector, or Fiesrv could be potential bidders for Clear2Pay according to Reuters.

LTP View: Last year, there was a huge buzz around this transaction in payments industry and it was reported that Clear2Pay was to be acquired by Indian software giant Infosys. However the deal fell out. The sale of Clear2Pay is not definite yet again. No further comments from Aquiline Holdings LLC either.