Visa Inc has completed its acquisition of Visa Europe, creating a combined global company serving 17,100 financial institutions and partners, more than 40 million merchant outlets, and 3 billion card accounts worldwide.
The acquisition follows approval from the European Commission of the buy out earlier this month, after Visa tweaked the terms of the deal to appease anti-trust concerns, scrapping a planned earn-out in exchange for an extra EUR1.75 billion in cash.
Under the original terms, Visa Inc was set to pay an upfront consideration of EUR16.5 billion in cash and stock with the potential for an additional earn-out of up to EUR4.7 billion payable following the fourth anniversary of closing.
Visa expects to realise around $200 million in annual pre-tax cost synergies through the deal by 2020, representing about 30% of Visa Europe's operating expenses.
In sealing the deal, the Visa board appointed Gary A. Hoffman, CEO of Hastings Group and chairman of Visa Europe, as a board member of the merged entity.
Charlie Scharf, CEO of Visa Inc. comments: “Gary’s broad knowledge of the European payments and banking industries brings an important perspective to the Visa Inc. Board and will be invaluable as we build our business in Europe.”