Australia’s Westpac taps JP Morgan for Tyro Payments takeover

Australian lender Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) has roped in investment bankers from U.S. banking giant JP Morgan to advise it on a bid to buy payment terminals firm Tyro Payments Ltd (TYR.AX), the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.

The report said Westpac was “one of a handful” of banks mulling a buyout offer and working on the potential benefits of assimilating Tyro into their wider banking operations.

Australia’s top two lenders, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and National Australia Bank (NAB.AX), have also been understood to have considered a play for the payments platform firm, but have not tapped in a counsel yet, the report said without naming any sources.

The news comes more than a month after Sydney-based Tyro rejected a A$1.27-per-share buyout offer from a consortium led by private equity firm Potentia Capital, calling it “highly opportunistic”.

Tyro shares closed 8.7% higher at A$1.56, but have lost nearly half of their value so far this year. As of Monday’s close, Tyro had a market value of A$807.6 million ($503.78 million).

Both Westpac and Tyro did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. JP Morgan’s Australia office also did not respond right away.

($1 = 1.6031 Australian dollars)