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British fintech giant FNZ plots €2bn sale

By Mark Kleinman, City editor
A British financial services technology provider is drawing up plans for a ?2bn sale that would crystallise its place as one of the UK's most valuable companies in its sector.
Sky News has learnt that FNZ Group, which was founded in 2004 in New Zealand but has its largest office in Edinburgh, is in the process of appointing investment bankers to advise on a sale of a majority stake in the company.
City sources said on Monday that FNZ would be valued in any deal at between €1bn and €2bn, with the upper end of that range described as "reasonable" by one insider.Headquartered in London, FNZ provides the technology platforms used by wealth management companies, with its major customers including blue-chip British financial services groups such as Aviva, Barclays and HSBC.Chaired by Lord Leitch, the former deputy chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, FNZ has grown rapidly in recent years amid growing demand for specialist technological expertise and tougher regulatory requirements for wealth managers.The sale process, which is expected to kick off before the end of the year, is expected to see FNZ's two private equity backers - General Atlantic and HIG Europe - sell their shareholdings.Both GA and HIG own one-third of the company, with the remainder held by FNZ's management team, led by chief executive Adrian Durham.
Sources said that Mr Durham and his colleagues were not planning to sell significant chunks of their stakes and remained committed to the long-term growth of FNZ.The growth of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies like FNZ has been one of the dominant trends in the industry's growth, both in fintech and more broadly.Rising demand from companies for specialist technology has fuelled an explosion in fundraising activity in the SaaS sector in the private markets as well as through international stock markets.
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FNZ employs well over 500 people in offices around the world, including in Hong Kong and Melbourne.A spokesman for FNZ declined to comment.
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