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September 22, 2015

First Data plans $3bn IPO

Money would be used to pay down some of its existing debt.

By James Nunns

First Data is planning to raise $3bn in an initial public offering that is expected to start this week.

The payment processing company, which was taken private by KKR & Co in 2007 for $26 billion, processes trillions of dollars worth of credit and debit card transactions for both large and small businesses.

The scale of the company’s operations equates to around half of all card swipes globally.

KKR isn’t expected to sell any stock in the deal, instead it is likely to achieve gains through future stock offerings.

The IPO would value the company at around $20-$25 billion, with the $3bn expected to be put towards paying down some of its $21 billion in debt.

One of the main challenges for the company will be how investors view the company’s large debt, which comes from its leveraged buyout.

The company posted its first quarterly profit in more than seven years at the end of 2014 and year-over-year revenue gains for the past six quarters, which may help encourage investors.

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The company’s prospectus advised that it expects the debt burden to fall, leading to the ability to generate more earnings.

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