Mercury UK Holdco, the top shareholder in Nexi, said on Tuesday it was placing 13.4% of the Italian payments group a day after the firm announced a merger with rival SIA.

Nexi and SIA unveiled on Monday a long-awaited accord to create a an Italian payment champion with 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) in annual revenue and a market value of 15 billion euros.

The stake being placed by Nexi’s private equity owners comprises 84 million shares, the banks managing the offer said. Based on Nexi’s closing price on Tuesday, it is worth around 1.4 billion euros.

Mercury UK – the vehicle of private equity firms Bain Capital, Advent International and Clessidra – will hold 20.1% of Nexi after the placement. That is equivalent to a 14% stake in the Nexi-SIA merged group.

Under a lock-up agreement, Mercury UK will not sell any shares in Nexi for six months after the closing of the merger and it will retain at least half of the stake for a further six months after that.

Barclays, Citi and Goldman Sachs are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the deal, Rothschild as financial adviser.

Source: Reuters

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