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EQT to take BillTrust private for $1.7 billion

Lucinda Shen
Sep 28, 2022
 Data: S&P Cap IQ; chart: Axios Visuals
Data: S&P Cap IQ; chart: Axios Visuals

European private equity firm EQT said it would take the company behind BillTrust private for about $1.7 billion.

Why it matters: The deal falls into two notable fintech dealmaking trends. Private equity buyers are looking to snap up cheaper assets while companies that SPAC-ed in recent years are looking for a way out.

Background: BillTrust, a B2B payments company, announced plans to go public via a SPAC deal in 2020. The company reached a valuation as high as $2.8 billion in 2021 as investors gobbled up fintech stock.

  • As of late Tuesday, the company was valued at about $946 million.

Zooming out: This all comes as other private equity companies have also made significant fintech buys. Centerbridge Partners and Bridgeport Partners announced plans to buy Computer Services for $1.6 billion in August.

  • Also last month, Vista Equity said it would take Avalara private in a deal valued at $8.4 billion.

What we're watching: Whether a founder-controlled public company sells. Such businesses have held out against take-private deals (BillTrust is not founder-controlled). Should a founder-controlled firm sell, it would signal a shift in sentiment even among the most optimistic in the market.

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