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Six firms bid for RBS payment-processing arm

The bank is considering six offers for its Global Merchant Service

04 June 2010

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is reviewing six bids for its Global Merchant Service as it looks to negotiate the sale of the payment-processing arm.

The bidding process for the £2.7 billion division has reached its second round, with the bank confirming two or three firms will be chosen for the final round.

RBS could pick the shortlist by next week, while officials claimed that a deal could be reached by the third quarter of this year.

The six bidding groups are: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; American Express Co and Permira; Atos Origin, CVC Capital Partners and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe; Advent International and Bain Capital; Canada's Moneris Solutions; and TPG.

Warburg Pincus, a previous suitor for the division, is no longer considering a deal.

Many equity buyers have been told by RBS that they must join up with a strategic partner if they are to be successful.

GMS handles over half of the face-to-face credit and debit card transactions in the UK, and the bank claims an equity firm would be unable to run a complex payment company.

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