The owners of Argentina-based Prisma Medios de Pago SA have rejected a joint offer from U.S. private equity firms Bain Capital LP and Advent International Corp. to acquire the credit card and payment processing company for $1.20 billion, El Cronista reported, citing multiple sources.
Prisma's owners, which include Visa International and 14 Argentine banks, are reportedly seeking a valuation of about $2.00 billion. Goldman Sachs, which is administering the sale, has reportedly valued the firm at between $1.50 billion and $2.00 billion.
Bain and Advent were the only interested parties who submitted a binding offer for Prisma, according to the report. Seven companies were previously reported to have sent nonbinding offers to acquire Prisma for up to $2.80 billion.
Argentina's commission for the protection of competition, the CNDC, has given the owners of Prisma until September to sell 51% of the company and until 2021 to sell the remaining 49%. That deadline is in line with a government initiative to spur competition in the local financial sector.
However, a senior government official told El Cronista that Prisma will likely ask the government to extend the September deadline by three months, which would give it until the end of the year to invite a fresh round of binding bids.
Prisma will look to extend the sale deadline "until there are open markets," said the CEO of one of the banks that own Prisma. "Today everything is closed in Argentina," the anonymous executive was quoted as saying. "Between the beginning of the transaction in February and July, Argentina was destroyed," the CEO said, likely referring to the country's currency crisis earlier this year.