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Merchant Acquiring

EVO Finds a Partner for Further Expansion

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Madison Dearborn Partners is buying a minority stake in EVO Payments International LLC and helping to fund the acquirer's international expansion and other growth initiatives.

EVO's management team, led by Ray Sidhom, the company's chairman, will continue to own a majority stake in the privately held firm.

The companies announced the agreement in a Jan. 7 press release. They did not disclose financial terms.

The deal may fuel continued growth for EVO. The Melville, N.Y.-based company has recently acquired Deutsche Card Services, PowerPay and a controlling interest in the merchant-acquiring business of Spain's Banco Popular.

"Madison Dearborn is the ideal partner for us at this stage of our development," Sidhom said in the release. "Their resources and financial services expertise will assist us as we move forward with our expansion strategy."

Specifically, EVO is transforming itself from a U.S.-based independent sales organization into a global processor operating in 41 countries, James G. Kelly, the company's CEO, told PaymentsSource in an interview last month.

Kelly joined EVO a year ago, bringing extensive experience in international payments in his former job with Global Payments Inc.

That experience apparently is paying off as the company grows abroad. "There is a lot of momentum behind our business, and we are excited about our future," Jeff Rosenblatt, EVO's president, said in the release.

Internationally, EVO recently bought Deutsche Card Services, a provider of merchant acquiring services in 39 European markets, from Deutsche Bank. A joint venture with Banco Popular provides merchant-acquiring services in Spain.

Domestically, EVO recently acquired PowerPay, a U.S.-based provider of integrated online commerce and point-of-sale payment processing.

Madison Dearborn's growth equity commitment applies to possible acquisitions and other expansion EVO might pursue, according to the release.

"EVO has a scalable business model supported by industry leading end-to-end technology that we think positions the company for sustained growth moving forward," Vahe Dombalagian, a Madison Dearborn managing director, said in the release.

EVO services 275,000 mostly small and medium-sized merchants and had processing volume of more than $30 billion last year, the release said.

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