Worldline Completes Acquisition of Handelsbanken’s Activities in the Nordics

The announcement happened in the context of the company's consolidation strategy in Europe.

Worldline (Euronext: WLN), a leading payments company, announced on Monday that it had completed the acquisition of Handelsbanken’s card acquiring activities in the Nordic region. According to the press release, the manoeuvre is part of its strategy to consolidate its position within Europe.

Handelsbanken is a big-player card acquirer in the Nordic region, with above 550 million transactions acquired per year, representing a payment volume of EUR 20 million, and serves over 20,000 merchants across the region. “With a pan-Nordic addressable market presence, a high-quality, diversified merchant portfolio, and a long-term merchant relationship with Handelsbanken, a leading bank in the region, Worldline will have the opportunity to leverage the existing offering and accelerate its growth profile in the region,” Worldline commented in the announcement.

Early this month, Worldline completed the acquisition of Cardlink SA, a Greek network service provider. Specifically, Worldline purchased a 92.5 percent stake in Cardlink. The Greek company has above 240,000 Point of Sale fleet, covering 46 percent of the local market, and manages around 500 million transactions a year, with a market share of 53 percent merchant sales volume.

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Expanding into Greek Market

With the completion of the acquisition, Worldline has entered the high potential Greek market that is quickly shifting from cash to card and electronic payment adoption. The new parent company of Cardlink is now considering developing its partnerships with local acquiring banks and allowing access to Worldline’s services portfolio to other existing Greek customers.

In July, Worldline signed a binding agreement to acquire 80% of Axepta Italy, the merchant acquiring entity of BNL banking group in Italy. “The partnership with BNL through the acquisition of 80% of Axepta Italy is a further significant development in our Group consolidation strategy in Europe, extending our Merchant Services activities towards the South of Europe,” Gilles Grapinet, Worldline’s Chairman and CEO, stated at that time.

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