French Company Worldline in Talks to Sell TSS Unit to Apollo in Possible $2.6 Billion Deal

French payments company Worldline has entered exclusive talks to sell its TSS terminals business to U.S. financial company Apollo Funds in a deal potentially worth around 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), the companies said on Monday.

The deal would comprise a 1.7 billion euros upfront consideration as well as preferred shares that could reach up to 0.9 billion euros in value depending on how TSS does in future.

The financial technology and payments sectors have witnessed several big takeover deals in recent years as the growing use of smartphones for online payments has sparked competition to develop new systems, often requiring large investments.

Worldline, which bought French rival Ingenico in 2020 in a 7.8 billion euros deal, said the sale of TSS to Apollo would help cut its debt and simplify its corporate structure.

“This contemplated transaction, while being fundamentally triggered by the best interest of TSS, will also simplify our group structure, further increase our focus on our core activities and massively deleverage our balance sheet allowing the acceleration of our next strategic developments towards establishing Worldline as a truly global Paytech leader,” said Worldline CEO Gilles Grapinet.

($1 = 0.8802 euros)

PARIS (Reuters)