Biggest acquisitions of the week: Vantiv stands out in large FinTech deal

The FinTech space has provided the largest deal of the week in the payment systems segment, as Vantiv further consolidated its position by purchasing credit card processing firm Mercury. With a large number of small and mid-level players across sectors such as settlement systems and smart payment technologies, there will likely be a spate of consolidation in the US and European markets this year. In other deals, big data firm Acxiom bought data analytics company LiveRamp and publishing enterprise Gannet added six TV stations to its portfolio. The week was dominated by US-based acquisitions as the digital superpower continued to prop up activity in the global tech markets, providing opportunities for corporate finance advisors.

Vantiv seals major FinTech deal

Payments technology company Vantiv has confirmed a $1.65 billion deal for credit card processing company Mercury Payments Systems. Mercury Payment Systems had filed to go public in March this year but with multiple firms expressing interest in a purchase the IPO was eventually abandoned. Mercury Payment Systems partners with software developers to provide payment processing mainly for small and medium-sized businesses. Cincinatti-based Vantiv is a fairly youthful firm, having gone public in 2012. The deal represents growing opportunities for private equity firms in early-round investments in the FinTech sector, especially as these technologies are increasingly entering mainstream usage. Investment firm Silver Lake acquired a 62% stake in Mercury Payments Systems in 2010 for $450 million, with the share now worth $1.0 billion.

Acxiom snaps up LiveRamp in big data deal

Data services firm Acxiom has agreed to pay $310 million for data analytics firm LiveRamp, as the company looks to diversify its offerings in the marketing software space. LiveRamp focuses on extracting information for marketing from offline purchases and customer relationship software. With the acquisition, Acxiom is now able to allow greater integration of offline and online customer data for analysis, with the company aiming to provide a platform for even major companies to market directly to individuals rather than expansive groups. The acquisition, which was something of a surprise to LiveRamp who was not looking to exit, gives Acxiom 7,000 global customers and data on 99% of adults in the US.

Publishing firm Gannett moves further away from failing print business

In order to further lessen its exposure to the rapidly collapsing print media sector in the US, media publishing company Gannett has purchased six TV stations from Texas-based London Broadcasting Company for $215 million. Gannett owns USA Today and is the largest newspaper chain in the US, which leaves it highly vulnerable to the declining print revenues. The deals marks a growing transfer to TV for the company, which now operates 46 channels having purchased Belo Corp TV for $1.5 billion in 2013. Three-quarters of the firm’s revenues now come from broadcast TV.

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