Saxo Bank Sells Payments Business to Swedish Private Equity Firm

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Stockholm-based private equity firm EQT has announced on Monday that it will acquire Saxo Payments Banking Circle, the online cross-border payments unit, from Saxo Bank A/S and other minority owners.

After the acquisition, EQT VIII fund and EQT Ventures fund (jointly EQT) will have the majority ownership of Banking Circle. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018 once approval is received from financial regulators.

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Saxo Bank’s narrowing focus

This acquisition is the latest in a pattern for Saxo Bank. Recently, the company has been slimming down its operations to focus on its core brokerage business. Earlier this year Finance Magnates reported that the broker sold its Saxo Privatbank subsidiary to Alm. Brand for $60 million.

Banking Circle was founded in 2013. It is a provider of infrastructure for online cross-border payments and processes around EUR 60 million run-rate annual payment volumes for several clients who use direct clearing access through partnerships with blue-chip partner banks.

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Despite the acquisition, the current management team, including founders and co-CEOs Anders la Cour and Laust Bertelsen, of Banking Circle will continue to lead the organization. According to the statement, EQT will support Banking Circle’s growth strategy in current and new geographies. It also wants to expand the company’s product portfolio.

Commenting on the acquisition, founder and CEO of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais, said: “We see EQT as the ideal partner for the next part of the journey and we are confident that Saxo Payments Banking Circle will thrive and continue its impressive growth trajectory. We look forward to continuing a close collaboration with the company and EQT, leveraging our technology and market access.”

Hjalmar Winbladh Source: EQT

Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Ventures, Hjalmar Winbladh, added: “cross-border payments is a large and rapidly growing market dominated by traditional players. Banking Circle has built a disruptive solution with a strong value proposition. The customer feedback is excellent and the company’s traction is evident looking at the triple digit growth of the business.”

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