LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Four private equity groups including Warburg Pincus and Bain Capital are lining up bids for a slice of Italian toll-road payment business Telepass ahead of a June 30 deadline, three sources told Reuters.
Warburg Pincus has teamed up with Neuberger Berman while Bain is making a joint bid with Advent International, the sources said.
These two bidding groups have a track record of deals in the payments industry and intend to bid aggressively for the asset which is part of Italian infrastructure firm Atlantia (ATL.MI), one of the sources said.
Apax and Partners Group are also in the race for Telepass and have been working on the dossier for several months, the sources said.
Warburg Pincus, Bain, Advent and Apax declined to comment while Atlantia and the other bidders were not immediately available.
The auction, which is led by Mediobanca and Goldman Sachs, has gained momentum in recent weeks after being delayed last year due to a dispute with Rome over Atlantia’s motorway concession.
Bids last year had valued Telepass at more than 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion).
Benetton-backed Atlantia was initially looking to sell only 30% of Telepass but it is now offering a bigger stake of up to 49% and giving investors the opportunity to have a say on strategic decisions, the sources said.
Warburg Pincus and Bain are using their industry expertise to woo Atlantia as both funds have invested heavily in digital payment platforms.
Warburg Pincus was one of the main investors in Network International (NETW.L), the largest payment processing firm across the Middle East and Africa, which was listed in London last year.
Bain has teamed up with Advent on a long series of payments deals which include Britain’s Worldpay - now part of Fidelity National Information Services - and Italy’s Nexi (NEXII.MI).
Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London and Stephen Jewkes in Milan; Editing by Frances Kerry