Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and First Data launch merchant acquiring JV

Source: First Data

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) and First Data Corporation, following the information provided in June 2005, have announced today the launch of BNL POSitivity (51% BNL, 49% First Data), a joint-venture set up to provide a compelling new merchant acquiring proposition for merchants across Italy, which includes the technical and commercial management of point-of-sale payment transactions.

The announcement marks the successful completion of the authorization process required to start operations. BNL transferred its merchant acquiring business portfolio to BNL POSitivity and then sold 49% of the share capital to First Data, generating a net capital gain for BNL of approximately euro 10 million.

The merchant acquiring business portfolio transferred by BNL is composed of thousands of POS terminals, active on the domestic market over several years.

The new venture enables BNL Group to expand its merchant business in Italy and to strengthen its positioning in the corporate and small business segments, whilst ensuring First Data’s presence in the valuable Italian electronic payments market.

To lead the new company, BNL and First Data have appointed Walter Pinci as general manager of BNL POSitivity.

Mr Pinci stated: "The combination of BNL's strong branch network and expertise in corporate banking with First Data's proven competence in merchant acquiring gives BNL POSitivity an unrivalled service offering for Italian merchants. I am excited by the opportunities for our new company which aims to become a leading player and agent for change in the Italian market, with the objective, in the medium-term, of achieving a significant market share. We will deliver service excellence and an extended range of high quality products and services that represent real value for Italian merchants."

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