Worldline and Equens joins forces

Worldline and Equens joins forces

European payments firms Worldline and Equens are merging their processing businesses. Meanwhile, Worldline is also buying Equens' commercial acquiring unit, PaySquare, for EUR72 million in cash.

Worldline, which was spun off by Atos last year, will own 63.6% of the combined Equens Worldline processing business, with Equens' owners - ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, DZ Bank, and ICBPI - holding the remaining 36.4%.

Led by current Equens CEO Michael Steinbach, the merged unit will be the largest pan-European financial processor, managing some 100 million payment cards, employing 3000 people and aiming for 2016 revenues of around EUR700 million.

Equens' bank owners have committed to renew their contract with the firm for another five years, representing a backlog of EUR1 billion, while a major cost cutting plan aims to find "synergies" of at least EUR40 million by 2018.

Gilles Grapinet, Worldline CEO, says: "From a shareholders’ perspective, this combination will provide significant value creation through the realization of considerable synergies, while preserving our strong financial flexibility. This merger will also allow us to provide to our respective customers even more efficient, reliable and highly innovative payment services."

Meanwhile, the EUR72 million PaySquare business - which serves 120,000 merchants in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Poland - will be integrated into the Worldline Merchant Services & Terminals unit.

The deal is expected to close during Q2 2016, subject to regulatory and antitrust authorities' approvals.

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