US transaction processor Global Payments is to pay EUR120 million in cash to acquire a 51% stake in a new merchant processing joint venture with Spanish savings bank la Caixa.
For the calendar year 2010, la Caixa's merchant acquiring business is expected to generate revenue of over EUR60 million from about 590 million transactions. The unit is the market leader in Spain with over 150,000 merchant outlets and a 21% market share in merchant acquiring.
Under the agreement, la Caixa will retain a minority 49% stake in the business and commit to a 20-year customer referencing alliance. The Spanish bank says the deal provides a partner capable of extending the business beyond Spanish shores to European payment markets.
Juan Maria Nin, la Caixa CEO says: "The deal represents an important step for la Caixa in the international growth of its payments systems business. La Caixa and Global Payments share the same attitude towards the importance of new technologies and are committed to capitalising on the new business opportunities that these generate."
Global Payments chief Paul Garcia says the venture fits with the firm's objective for global and EU business expansion in the merchant acquiring space. "We expect to grow the customer base by providing increased sales resources and focus on the merchant acquiring business," he says.