Australian financial services group Westpac looking to acquire Tyro Payments in a bid to strengthen its capabilities for the small business market. 

In a stock exchange filing, the Sydney-based bank said: “Westpac confirms it is in preliminary discussions with Tyro Payments Limited to acquire 100% of the company’s issued share capital. There is no certainty that any transaction will result.

“An acquisition would strengthen Westpac’s small business proposition, enabling it to better support customers and grow merchant acquiring, particularly in the hospitality and healthcare sectors.”

Westpac’s announcement comes after the Australian Financial Review (AFR) published a report stating that the bank has hired investment bankers from JPMorgan to advise it on Tyro‘s bid.

Westpac’s rivals Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are also in line to buy Tryo, which is engaged in providing EFTPOS services, Reuters reported, citing AFR. 

Responding to media speculations, Tyro said: “The Company confirms it has received approaches from several parties expressing interest in a potential change of control transaction, including Westpac Banking Corporation.

“None of these approaches are sufficiently definite or advanced to warrant further disclosure at this time. Tyro is engaging in preliminary discussions with selected parties in the context of maximising value for all shareholders.

“The Company notes that these approaches are non-binding and highly conditional in nature, and there is no certainty that a binding offer or a transaction of any kind will eventuate.”