HgCapital sells online payment company for $100m

The European buyout firm has sold Orbiscom to MasterCard, marking its 16th exit since June 2007.

European buyout firm HgCapital has sold its portfolio company Orbiscom, a provider of secure online credit and debit card payment technology, to MasterCard for $100 million.

The firm invested $17.5 million in the company in 2001 after the collapse of the technology bubble.

The sale is Hg’s 16th exit since the start of the credit crunch in June 2007, with total sales of £1.2 billion (€1.3 billion; $1.7 billion) at an average multiple of 2.7 times original cost, the firm said in a statement.  In September, the firm exited Addison Software for a return of 3.7 times its initial £27 million pound investment. The sale returned £123 million to investors.

Going forward, Hg expects to be entering another “buyer’s” market, “with valuations at a 20-year low. High-quality businesses will require fresh investment and supportive investors”, the firm said.

UK-headquartered Hg typically invests in European companies with enterprise values ranging from £50 million to £500 million. The firm was founded when Mercury Private Equity, the former captive private equity arm of Merrill Lynch, spun out from the investment bank in 2000 and rebranded.