Worldline, a merchant and payments solutions provider, announced today that it has acquired SIX Payment Services (SPS), a Swiss company providing commercial acquiring and financial processing services. The deal will see Worldline substantially growing its merchant services business.
Today’s announcement comes after SIX, SPS’ parent company, stated in November of 2017 that it was looking for a strategic partner for SPS. The company sought to merge its merchant acceptance, acquiring and international card processing business with a larger firm to keep pace with other large European firms.
Thierry Breton, Worldline’s chairman and CEO of its parent company Atos, hailed the move, stating: “The strategic agreement announced today between Worldline and SIX is of fundamental importance in the European payment industry. I am very honored that Worldline has been selected by SIX, after a very competitive process, as the right partner to join forces with their leading payment business.”
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The acquisition will cost Worldline €2.3 billion ($2.74 billion). The company will pay €283 million of this in cash ($337.5 million) and will pay the remaining sum with 49.1 million of new Worldline shares. This will give SPS a 27 percent share in Worldline.
Worldline claims the acquisition will see the firm increasing its revenue by 17 percent per annum. The firm also stated that the acquisition of SPS would mean they are the largest merchant services business in Continental Europe, with revenues of over €1 billion ($1.2 billion).
Romeo Lacher, Chairman of SIX’s board of directors, also praised the partnership, stating: “We are very happy that in Worldline we have found a well-known and strong international partner who will work with us to advance and further develop the payment business. This strategic partnership makes us Europe’s leading and largest provider in one go.”
The merger between the two companies comes in a year that has seen a flurry of mergers and acquisitions between European payments service providers. With new technologies emerging and larger companies coming together to control huge chunks of the payments market, the industry is fast becoming a cutthroat business.