Swiss financial infrastructure firm SIX Group has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Luxembourg-based financial IT service provider Cetrel at the end of January 2009. The company says the deal is intended to build up a leading international offering in card-based payment traffic.
The aim is to boost Cetrel's position in the acquiring business in the Grande Region of Luxembourg, while expanding the international issuing processing offer of both Cetrel and SIX Group in Europe. The provision of central services to enhance the competitiveness of the financial centre Luxembourg shall remain among Cetrel's core duties.
The remaining shares not acquired by SIX Group will remain in the hands of the Cetrel founders, which include Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat, BGL-BNP Paribas, Dexia, Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications, Banque Raiffeisen, ING and Banque de Luxembourg. Cetrel is the market leader for cashless payments in Luxembourg and a central provider of shared services solutions for the financial center Luxembourg.
SIX Group's existing offerings in the field of card-based payments includes commercial acquiring through SIX Multipay in a variety of European countries for nationally and internationally active merchants.
SIX Group says the acquisition is part of its internationalization strategy and intention to position itself as an innovative and efficient European financial infrastructure provider.
SIX Group was formed in 2007 from the merger of Swiss exchange operator SWX, clearing firm SIS, and Telekurs, which dealt in market data and card and electronic payment systems.