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Global Payments CEO says open to big deals again

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By David French

ATLANTA, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Global Payments Inc CEO Jeff Sloan said in an interview he would be open to a large acquisition again, two years after acquiring peer TSYS in a $21.5 billion all-stock deal, while continuing to chase small bolt-on purchases to bolster growth.

"I certainly see deals as big as TSYS in our future," Sloan, who has led the Atlanta-based payments processor since 2013, told Reuters last week.

Global Payments, one of the world's biggest providers of transaction services for businesses, complemented its offerings with the acquisition of TSYS, which processes credit card transactions for banks.

Sloan said continuing to amass scale in the rapidly-consolidating industry, that is now dominated by e-commerce, was essential.

Global Payments' acquisition focus is now on software and other technology-enabled platforms, Sloan said.

Software allows Global Payments to capture a larger chunk of revenue in industries where the company already has a strong franchise, such as healthcare, financial institutions and fast casual restaurants, Sloan added.

Merging with another large payments company only would be attractive if it gave substantial operations in a geography where Global Payments was not present outside the United States, Sloan said.

Global Payments agreed in September to acquire MineralTree, a cloud-based software platform, for $500 million. It will accelerate its transition into business-to-business payments, given that its traditional strength has been in facilitating transactions between businesses and consumers.

The business-to-business payments sector is also attracting strong investor interest, as advancements in digital technology bring big savings to companies that adopt them. Bill.com Holdings Inc's shares have risen almost 12 times in value since the cloud-based business payments platform went public two years ago. AvidXchange Holdings Inc Inc, which provides payment services to businesses and their suppliers, said on Friday it expected its initial public offering to raise more money this week at a higher valuation.

The MineralTree transaction took Global Payments' spending on bolt-on acquisitions to $2.5 billion in the last ten months. (Reporting by David French in Atlanta; editing by Diane Craft)