(Bloomberg) -- Ebury, a cross-border payments platform backed by Banco Santander SA, has been meeting with banks as it prepares for a London initial public offering that could value it as much as £2 billion ($2.5 billion), people familiar with the matter said.

The firm aims to list in the UK next year, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. 

It has been interviewing banks as part of a so-called pre-RFP process, the people said. That’s a relatively new development where a company speaks to a wide range of underwriters before later paring down the list to a select group it then invites for more detailed pitches for an IPO mandate. 

Ebury co-founder Juan Lobato said in the company’s results statement in November that it has “big ambitions” and is exploring an IPO, without giving further details. The company reported £204 million of revenue and £16 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the year through April 2023. 

Deliberations are ongoing, and details of the potential offering could change. Spokespeople for Santander and Ebury declined to comment.

The IPO business is getting more competitive for banks as activity begins to recover after a near two-year lull that led many desks across the Street to downsize. Now, recovering stock market indexes are spurring a return of new share issuance. 

Santander reached a deal in November 2019 to acquire majority control of Ebury for £350 million. Ebury is now part of PagoNxt, Santander’s global payments platform.

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