Danish e-payments outfit PBS and Norwegian counterpart Nordito - owner of BBS and Teller - have agreed a deal to merge their operations.
The deal - expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year - will create a payments company with over 2200 staff. Headquartered in Copenhagen, the firm will have offices in Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn.
The new company aims to be the leading Nordic player in payments, cards and information exchange. In 2008 PBS had a turnover of DKr2.5 billion, BBS's turnover was NK11.7 billion and Teller's NKr800 million.
The firms - both owned by local banks - already work closely together following a 2007 decision to merge their respective card processing operations to form a new company called Northern European Transaction Services (Nets).
Since then, both have also made acquisitions in a bid to consolidate and expand their presence in the Nordic market. Last year PBS bought the payments business of Swedish IT firm Stralfors while BBS recently acquired the Sagem Denmark and Sagem Manison Finland from Ingenico.
The merged firm will install Nordea's Peter Lybecker as chairman with SpareBank 1 SR-Bank's Terje Vareberg as deputy. DnB NOR's Rune Fjeldstad will be CEO with PBS boss Flemming Jensen as deputy.
Says Lybecker: "Combining the skills of three leading Nordic players will enable us to become an even more attractive and competitive supplier and partner in the field of payment services."
Fjeldstad adds: "The payment and information industry is constantly changing. Technological progress, regulatory conditions and changes in customer preferences are driving forces in the market. The merger is a great opportunity for all involved parties to further develop their positions in the international marketplace."