Georgia-based electronic payments processor TSYS has signed an agreement to acquire the 50% equity stake it doesn't already own in Vital Processing Services from Visa USA for $95 million.
Formed in 1996 as a joint venture between Visa USA and TSYS, Vital provides card payment processing, clearing and settlement services. The firm is now the second largest processor of merchant accounts in the US, serving more than one million merchant locations.
Following the closing of the transaction, Vital will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSYS and will continue to be headed by president Beverly Wells.
Philip Tomlinson, TSYS chief executive officer, says: "TSYS' ownership of Vital affords us many more opportunities on the merchants' and issuers' sides of the business in the United States and abroad."
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005.