French private equity firm Eurazeo has engaged Citigroup and Evercore as part of the preparations to sell its payments firm Planet for approximately $2.2bn (€2bn), reported Reuters citing undisclosed sources.
The private equity is said to be planning to initiate an auction in March to tap the increasing online shopping and mobile phone payments.
Last month, Citi and Evercore won a competition to manage the divestiture. This follows an agreement by Silver Lake to integrate Global Blue, a Planet competitor, with Far Point, which was set up by hedge fund Third Point.
Founded in Ireland, Planet serves nearly 400,000 merchants and 100 partner banks. The firm handles 500 million transactions valued at over €23bn. It offers tax refunds and payment services to merchants, acquirers and shoppers.
Eurazeo acquired Planet Payment for €219m in 2017 through Fintrax Group, a portfolio company that offers currency-conversion services.
The combined group rebranded Planet in 2018 which is currently focused on international payments, currency conversion and acquiring services. Planet now operates in 64 markets across five continents with a total of more than 1,500 employees.
For the sale, Eurazeo will target Asian and Western companies along with other investment funds, added Reuters.
In February last year, Planet rival Adyen launched a new payment method that is powered by open banking. It is available via the company’s single integration and covers web, iOS and Android.