Nexi to Buy BPER Banca Payment Unit for $412M

Nexi, BPER, acquisitions, POS

After months of negotiations, Italian payments group Nexi has agreed to pay as much as $412 million to buy the payments business of BPER Banca and its subsidiary Banco Di Sardegna.

As Reuters reported Thursday (June 2), the deal will see Nexi purchase the point-of-sales operations of both companies, giving it access to a network of more than 111,000 retailers.

As PYMNTS reported earlier in the year, BPER’s business specializes in managing electronic payments. The two companies began talks in February.

According to Reuters, the deadline to close on the deal — initially expected to wrap in March — was pushed back twice. The deal is expected to close in the latter half of the year.

“Following several delays, the deal goes through and it is good news,” Banca Akros analyst Luigi Tramontana said, underlining a “buy” rating on Nexi.

Read more: Nexi Makes $400M Bid for Payment Unit of BPER Banca

“It makes sense for BPER to sell a business that needs scale to remain profitable,” Fabrizio Bernardi, an analyst at Bestinver Sociedad de Valores SA, said when rumors of the deal were first reported earlier this year. “The bank may use the proceeds from disposal to speed up de-risking and restructuring.”

The acquisition comes at a time when the European payments industry is consolidating, with banks selling off their own units and specialized players adding to their business. Nexi’s aim is to buy the payments assets from its banking partners, while keeping the relations and contracts in place with the banks.

BPER, Italy’s fifth-largest bank, said in a statement that its payment business handled 13 billion euros worth of transactions in 2021 through a network of roughly 150,000 card machines. The company said it had formed a long-term strategic partnership with Nexi as part of the sale, letting it keep “significant exposure” to the business for the scope of the agreement.