FöreningsSparbanken acquires SpareBank EnterCard stake

FöreningsSparbanken acquires SpareBank EnterCard stake

FöreningsSparbanken is to acquire SpareBank 1's 65% stake in Nordic card processor EnterCard under a revised co-operation agreement between the two banks.

The Nkr136.5 million purchase price for EnterCard values the entire company at Nkr210 million. SpareBank 1 - the holding company for the Norwegian savings bank movement in which FöreningsSparbanken holds a 25% stake - anticipates posting a gain of Nkr65 million on the sale.

EnterCard was established in May 2000 after the merger of Sparebankkort AS and SpareBank 1 Kredittkort AS. The SpareBank 1 Group owns 65% and the Terra Group owns 35% of the company, which has around 60 employees divided between offices in Oslo and Trondheim.

EnterCard issues and is responsible for credit and management of credit and debit cards for around 110 Norwegian banks. The company has close to 20 different credit and payment cards with varying functionality and content. In addition, the company has co-branding agreements with partners such as Coop, the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions and the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad.

The deal revives an earlier agreement between the two closely-related banking groups which was initially terminated by FöreningsSparbanken in December 2001. Under the new co-operation framework, the banks have stated a common ambition to work more closely on the sharing of IT, customer-related and basic banking services.

The two banks already have close ties. The SpareBank 1 Group's wholly owned fund manager Odin sells a number of the FöreningsSparbanken's Robur funds, while FöreningsSparbanken and SpareBank 1 each own 33% of First Securities.

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