Jul 6, 2023 - Economy

GTCR agrees to buy Worldpay at an $18.5 billion valuation

Illustration of a phone dispensing money.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR on Thursday announced that it will acquire a 55% stake in Worldpay from Fidelity Information Services for more than $10 billion.

Why it matters: This is the year's largest private equity deal by enterprise value ($18.5 billion), and also the largest in GTCR's 43-year history.

Details: GTCR also committed $1.25b in additional financing for acquisitions, and said that former Worldpay executive chairman and CEO Charles Drucker will return as CEO.

  • FIS previously signaled plans to spin off Worldpay via an IPO, but GTCR has no short-term plans to bring its new portfolio company public.

What they're saying: GTCR co-CEO Collin Roche tells Axios that any acquisitions will likely be focused on product, plus perhaps a bit of added geographic coverage. "A lot of time you see smaller businesses with innovative products but not the scale to exploit it; we have scale."

The bottom line: Perhaps the most surprising piece of this deal is that GTCR found bank financing, with Roche saying the firm employed a "fairly conversative cap structure" with leverage in the "low to mid 4's on EBITDA."

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