Western Union purchases equity interest in Italian money transfer agent

Source: Western Union

Western Union Financial Services, Inc. a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC), announced today that it has completed the purchase of a 30 percent equity interest in Finint Srl, one of Western Union's authorized agents in Italy.

Based in Italy, Finint has been Western Union's money transfer agent since 1995. Finint offers Western Union services at more than 2,200 locations throughout Italy.

"This investment is an extension of our relationship with a great partner," said Charlie Fote, chairman and chief executive officer of First Data. "Finint brings very capable management skills to a diverse and growing agent network. It continues to introduce new products and services which benefit consumers."

Commenting on the purchase, Graziano Fiorelli, chairman of Finint says, "With this partnership we dramatically strengthen our relationship with Western Union, a strategic partner with great reputation, great people and great financial possibilities that will open doors to potential synergies and business developments in the future."

Transactions in Italy are being driven by the immigrant population, which accounts for roughly five percent of the country's 57 million population*. The size of the global remittance market is estimated to be just above $150 billion, growing at an annual rate of five percent**. In 2003, Western Union's share of the worldwide remittance market was estimated at 14 percent.

In July 2004, Western Union purchased a 30 percent equity interest in another Italian agent, Angelo Costa, S.p.A., with a network of nearly 3,000 locations throughout the country.

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