Wednesday , August 5, 2020

Eye on M&A: Visa Heats up the Bidding War Over Earthport; Clearent Picks up Coolfront

The tug-of-war over Earthport PLC continues.

Visa Inc. upped its offer for the British business-to-business payment processor in a bidding war that started after Mastercard Inc. topped Visa’s original price. Visa is now offering 37 pence per share, which values the company at £247 million ($320.4 million). Visa’s new offer is 12% above Mastercard’s Jan. 25 bid and 23% higher than its original 30-pence offer, the Alliance News service reported.

Mastercard urged Earthport shareholders to take no action on Visa’s revised offer and said it would have an announcement in “due course.”

In other mergers-and-acquisitions news, merchant processor Clearent LLC announced it has acquired Coolfront Technologies, a specialist in managing maintenance agreements in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical industries. Terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Coolfront will retain its name and operate as a subsidiary of FieldEdge, another software-as-a-service specialist that is part of Clearent.

“At Clearent, we have pursued sustainable growth through acquisition of [software-as-a-service] companies in select verticals, including field services, and allowing them to thrive as independently operating subsidiaries,” said Dan Geraty, chief executive, in a statement. “Given the synergies Coolfront and FieldEdge can achieve together, this acquisition provides a perfect growth opportunity for both companies.”

FieldEdge became a unit of St. Louis-based Clearent last year when private-equity firm Advent International bought a majority stake in the merchant processor and merged it with FieldEdge.

FieldEdge serves the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and home-services industry with software-as-a-service support of scheduling, pricing, dispatching, and other services. Founded in 2005, Clearent has lately pursued an expansion into the ISV business. in January 2018, it bought Spot Business LLC, an ISV serving the dry-cleaning industry.


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