Intesa Sanpaolo is to sell its merchant acquiring business at 380,000 points of sale across Italy to local payments processor Nexi for €1000.
Under the deal, the Italian bank will spend €653 million to acquire a 9.9% stake in Nexi, maintaining its interest in the business. Intesa will also retain the sales force dedicated to acquiring new customers under a long-term partnership with the vendor.
The bank says the transaction will enable it to extract proper value from the acquiring activities currently carried out internally - "taking into account that operating efficiently in this sector, in a competitive scenario of international scope, requires greater investment and economies of scale" - while retaining an interest in a business with significant growth prospects.
In 2018, the business activities under hammer generated operating income of around €74 million, operating margin of around €72 million and net income of around €48 million.
The transaction is expected to be finalised next year.