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Worldline hires bankers amid share slump

Jan 17, 2024
Data: S&P Capital IQ; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: S&P Capital IQ; Chart: Axios Visuals

French payments company Worldline has hired Morgan Stanley and Rothschild & Co. to help defend it amid a painful drop in share prices, Reuters reports, citing sources.

Why it matters: Valued at about €3.7 billion, Worldline is under pressure from activist investor BlueBell, who has asked for a review of its CEO and the replacement of its chairman.

Details: Worldline's options, per Reuters, include potentially bringing in an anchor investor to backstop the stock.

Context: Shares of Worldline began to plunge in October, when the company cut its full-year outlook due to economic slowdowns, particularly in Germany.

  • The warning didn't arise in a vacuum. Adyen missed earnings expectations in August, and cut its growth target in November. Newly IPO-ed CAB Payments warned of a lower revenue outlook, also in October.
  • That helped drive down shares of Italian payments company Nexi as well.

The big picture: The payments sector was one of the hottest even before the pandemic. Now, it's rife with M&A and activist titters.

A Worldline representative said, "We do not comment on market rumors."

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