Dubai: Brookfield Asset Management is exploring a potential counterbid for Middle Eastern credit card processor Network International Holdings, in a challenge to a $2.6 billion proposal from a rival buyout consortium, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Canadian investment giant has held preliminary discussions with London-listed Network about a deal, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
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Brookfield has an existing presence in the industry and has been an active investor in the Middle East. Last year, an arm of Brookfield bought control of First Abu Dhabi Bank’s Magnati payments unit in a deal valuing the operation at as much as $1.15 billion.
Network said earlier this week it received a non-binding bid of 387 pence per share from a consortium of CVC Capital Partners and Francisco Partners. The company said it would be minded to accept the proposal should the suitors make a firm offer and agreed to provide confirmatory due diligence.
Shares of Network fell 0.8 per cent in London trading Thursday to close at 360 pence.
Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty Brookfield will proceed with a firm offer, the people said. Representatives for Brookfield and Network declined to comment.