GTCR seeks $500 mln fintech platform with operating pro Bergeron

  • Two worked together previously, on VeriFone
  • Bergeron stepped down as CEO in March
  • Executive was co-investor in firm’s Fundtech deal

“It’s a dynamic area and therefore good for us to partner with Doug and see what we can buy and build,” Roche told Buyouts. “We’re going to be looking for transactions that are good for the seller and good for us, but most importantly businesses that can be grown and developed into really attractive global franchises.”

GTCR announced the partnership earlier this month, saying it and Bergeron had formed a company called Opus Global Holdings to seek fintech deals. GTCR said it would invest up to $450 million in the strategy, while Bergeron will contribute up to $50 million.

But unlike VeriFone Holdings Inc, the last time that Bergeron led a GTCR portfolio company, the new platform is not likely to pursue the domestic point-of-sale industry, Roche said.

“There is a lot of opportunity in business-to-business payments. There is a lot of opportunity in capital markets software, for instance.”

It likely will take 12 to 24 months to identify the platform, and then the firm will begin working on add-ons, Roche said. “We’re patient, but we’re also anxious to find the right opportunity.”

GTCR invested in VeriFone in 2002, a year after Bergeron led the carveout of the company, a maker of point-of-sale terminals and provider of electronic payment services, from technology giant Hewlett-Packard Co. Bergeron had the backing of the buyout shop then known as Gores Technology Group (now Gores Group) when he did the initial transaction; GTCR stepped in the following year through a recapitalization deal. VeriFone went public in 2005. Bergeron stepped down as CEO in March.

Bergeron had a hand in another GTCR deal, the 2011 acquisition of the wire-transfer technology company Fundtech Ltd. In that complicated transaction, GTCR essentially broke up Fundtech’s agreement to merge with another fintech vendor, S1 Corp, which was itself a target of a hostile bid by Fundtech’s larger rival, ACI Worldwide.

In the wake of that deal, S1 acquiesced to ACI, while GTCR combined Fundtech with another portfolio company, the electronic payment provider BankServ. Bergeron co-invested with GTCR in the Fundtech deal and took a seat on the company’s board during the integration of the two companies. Bergeron and Roche continue to serve on the Fundtech board, according to the company’s website.