US-based First Data is continuing its expansion into Europe with the acquisition of EuroProcessing International (EPI), a provider of electronic payment processing services to banks in Central and Eastern Europe.
First Data is acquiring the company from Nordic private equity concern Reiten & Co, which currently holds a 62.6% stake in the firm, and Oslo-based investment firm Creati AS which has a 37.4% share. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Formed in 2000, Norway-based EPI provides banks in Central and Eastern Europe with issuer and acquirer processing services including ATM and POS transaction processing, rental and maintenance, debit and credit card management, card personalisation and mobile top-up processing.
EPI is active in ten Central and Eastern European countries and has offices or representatives in Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia and Montenegro, Russia and Hungary.
First Data says the acquisition will give it an important foothold in Eastern Europe and the Nordic region. As well as leading business growth in CEE, the EPI management team in Oslo will also lead First Data's operations in the Nordic markets, offering the full First Data issuing and acquiring services portfolio to banks across the region.
Pam Patsley, president of First Data International, says: "Many of the banks that are growing rapidly through acquisitions in Central and Eastern Europe now have multiple disparate processing platforms - and a strong and urgent desire for entering into regional contracts.
"First Data is well equipped and, through this acquisition, we are well positioned to assist these banks in securing the efficiencies and value that such consolidation will deliver."