Visa Inc is in talks with European banks about buying back its former subsidiary Visa Europe for as much as $20 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Citing sources, Bloomberg says that talks between the two are underway but are at an early stage and could stumble over price, which is expected to be in the $15 billion to $20 billion range.
While they share the same brand, Visa Europe and Visa Inc have been separate entities since 2007, when they split ahead of the US business listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Visa Inc. has a call option to buy shares in the bank-owned European organisation, while Visa Europe's members have a put option to sell them to Visa Inc.
Europe's banks have held discussions over a possible sale of Visa Europe in the past, but have so far kept their powder dry. Visa Inc made the opening move on talks this time, says Bloomberg.
The prospect of a deal raised its head last November when Visa Inc said in an SEC filing that it may have to find $10 billion to fund an acquisition of its sister, warning that it would need to access third-party financing to meet its obligations under a 285-notice period if European banks exercised their option to sell.