By Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro, Amy-Jo Crowley and Mathieu Rosemain
LONDON (Reuters) - French cooperative bank Credit Mutuel Arkea is looking to sell a stake in its subsidiary Monext, following a string of European lenders that have sought external partners for their payments businesses, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The group is offering a minority holding in the unit and is working with advisers at Deutsche Bank to gauge investor interest, two of the people said.
Private equity funds are looking at the unit, the other person said.
Arkea has previously partnered with Advent International and PSG Equity for two of its other financial technology ventures.
Monext could fetch a valuation as high as 350 million euros ($383 million) in a deal, or up to 14 times its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), one of the people said.
The company posted turnover of 97 million euros for last year, a 5% increase versus 2021.
A spokesperson for Arkea said Monext's 2022 EBITDA stood at around 25 million euros but declined to comment on a potential sale. Monext and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
Founded in 2009, Monext became a subsidiary of Arkea a year after its inception. It processed 4.2 billion in-store and online payments in 2022, giving it a market share of more than 40% for e-commerce transactions in France, as per its latest annual figures.
European banks have moved to monetise their payments businesses and strike commercial partnerships with specialist providers as they look to focus on their core strengths.
Earlier this year, Spanish lender Banco Sabadell agreed to sell 80% of its merchant acquiring business to Italy's Nexi for 280 million euros alongside a 10-year commercial partnership with the payments specialist.
Italy's Banco BPM has also been exploring strategic options for its payments arm.
($1 = 0.9137 euros)
(Reporting by Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro and Amy-Jo Crowley in London and Mathieu Rosemain in Paris; Editing by Elisa Martinuzzi and Mark Potter)