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Wordline splashes €180m for majority stake in BNL merchant acquiring arm

Wordline splashes €180m for majority stake in BNL merchant acquiring arm

Worldline has signed a binding agreement for the acquisition of 80% of Axepta Italy, the merchant acquiring arm of BNL banking group.

Founded in 2006, Axepta is one of the large bank-owned acquirers in the country, processing 200 million transactions per year from a 220,000 POS acceptance network. The company has a diversified client portfolio comprising 30,000 merchants, of which 30% are large corporates, with low attrition rates.

For Worldline, the deal extends its footprint into Southern Europe.

Gilles Grapinet, Worldline’s chairman and CEO, said: “Thanks to this transaction, we indeed benefit from a direct access to an existing merchants’ portfolio in the fast-growing Italian market, driven by the steady ongoing adoption of electronic payments. This transaction offers attractive growth opportunities for Worldline in the coming years".

The company is paying €180 million for its 80% stake and anticpates additional annual revenue of €50 million at closing with expected double-digit organic growth CAGR over the next four year years.

The transaction is explected to close late 2021, at which point Axepta's 100 employees will be transferred to Worldline.

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