UPDATE 2-Amex, Permira enter fray for RBS WorldPay -sources

* Amex/Permira join forces as financials/trade team up

* Sources say 5 other bidders, including CVC/Atos team

* RBS branch sale proceeds, NAB and BBVA may team up -source

* RBS shares down 0.4 percent

(Adds details on branches sale)

LONDON, May 17 (BestGrowthStock) – American Express Co (AXP.N: ) has
teamed up with UK private equity firm Permira [PERM.UL] to bid
for Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS.L: ) $4 billion payment
processing arm, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

French software firm Atos Origin has also joined the private
equity consortium of CVC Capital Partners and Welsh Carson
Anderson & Stowe to bid for RBS’s Global Merchant Services (GMS)
unit, a person familiar with the matter said.

About six firms or consortia are in the hunt to buy GMS,
which includes the WorldPay business and is expected to fetch
between 2.5 billion and 3 billion pounds ($3.7 billion-$4.4
billion).

RBS, American Express, Permira and Atos Origin declined to
comment or could not immediately be reached.

RBS’s sale of 318 branches is nearing a conclusion, with
Spain’s Santander (SAN.MC: ) and National Australia Bank (NAB.AX: )
now conducting detailed due diligence, sources said.

Spain’s BBVA (BBVA.MC: ) is also on the list of potential
bidders but has been asked for more details and it has held
talks with NAB over a possible tie-up, according to a person
familiar with the matter. It was not clear whether a deal had
been reached or how a carve up would work. NAB and BBVA declined
to comment.

RBS, 83 percent state-owned, is being forced by European
competition authorities to sell WorldPay and other assets as a
cost of taking billions of pounds of taxpayer cash during the
financial crisis.

RBS and its commodities joint venture with Sempra Energy
(SRE.N: ) are in the process of selling their remaining North
American assets after selling non-U.S. businesses to JPMorgan
(JPM.N: ) for $1.7 billion in February.

The remaining business has drawn a variety of suitors,
including independent oil trader Vitol Group, the Wall Street
Journal reported on Friday. Other suitors include oil and
utility companies and banks with little exposure to U.S.
regulation, it said. [ID:nN14216198]

Bidders have been teaming up to buy WorldPay, which is
likely to be a complex business to separate and run.

Permira and American Express have been working together for
a number of weeks, one of the sources said.

Five bids, including four from private equity firms, were
last month included to move through to the second round of
bidding for WorldPay, sources told Reuters. [ID:nLDE63J29Y]

In addition to the CVC consortium, they included Canada’s
Moneris Solutions, TPG [TPG.UL], Warburg Pincus [WP.UL] and
joint suitors Advent International and Bain Capital.

Investment Analysis

($1=.6859 Pound)
(Reporting by Steve Slater, Simon Meads, Clara Ferreira-Marques
and Caroline Copley in London, Cyril Altmeyer in Paris and
Judith MacInnes in Madrid; Editing by Jan Paschal and Jon
Loades-Carter)

UPDATE 2-Amex, Permira enter fray for RBS WorldPay -sources