August 31, 2017 / 11:37 PM / a year ago

Hellman & Friedman leads race for 31.3 billion Danish crowns Nets deal - FT

(Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is the frontrunner in the race to acquire Nets NETS.CO, Scandinavia’s largest payments processor, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the discussions.

The deal is expected to value Nets at more than 31.3 billion Danish crowns (3.88 billion pounds), the newspaper also reported.

Nets is seeing “considerable interest” from potential buyers, Chief Executive Bo Nilsson had said earlier this month.

Nets could be the next big deal in the sector following a flurry of acquisitions, including U.S. credit card payments processor Vantiv VNTV.N finalising a deal to buy Britain’s biggest payments processor Worldpay WPG.L for 8 billion pounds earlier this month.

U.S. payment giants and Mastercard (MA.N) are both seen as suitors for Nets, which has a current market capitalisation of 29.16 billion Danish crowns according to Thomson Reuters data.

Hellman & Friedman could not be immediately reached for comment while Nets did not immediately comment on the report.

Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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