March 13, 2017 / 12:05 PM / 2 years ago

Canadian fintech DH Corp to be taken private in C$4.8 billion deal

(Reuters) - U.S. investment firm Vista Equity Partners said on Monday it would buy Canada’s DH Corp DH.TO in a deal valued at C$4.8 billion ($3.6 billion), highlighting the growing interest in companies specializing in financial technology.

Vista will combine DH with one of its portfolio companies, UK-based financial software firm Misys, which scrapped a planned London listing last year.

Shares of DH were up 8.9 percent at C$25.10 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Vista’s acquisition of DH is the largest takeover of a Canadian company by a foreign firm since December 2014, when Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC) agreed to buy oil producer Talisman Energy.

Private equity firms and financial institutions are increasingly spending money on fintechs - companies that use technology to revamp business transactions - in the expectation that innovations will transform the financial services industry in decades to come.

Venture capital-backed investment in Canadian fintechs hit its highest level in almost two decades last year, even as the flow of funds into major fintech markets like the United States declined, according to sector data.

Vista offered C$25.50 in cash for each DH Corp share, an 11 percent premium to the stock’s Friday close.

Formerly Davis + Henderson Corp, DH has transformed itself from a cheque printing company into a provider of payment and lending services.

DH has close to 8,000 customers, including Canada’s five biggest lenders and more than half of the world’s 50 largest banks.

The deal follows DH’s appointment of a special committee in December to assess expressions of interest to buy the company.

DH shares, which dropped to a record low last November, have since risen over 64 percent in anticipation of an acquisition.

Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets are financial advisers to DH while Stikeman Elliott LLP and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP provided legal counsel.

Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Citi are financial advisers to Vista Equity. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Goodmans LLP provided legal counsel.

Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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