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Report: Worldline Could Be Private Equity Takeover Target

Worldline’s stock climbed last week amid reports that it could be a takeover target.

As Seeking Alpha noted Friday (Nov. 24), the French payments firm rose 5% on the news, which came from the British website Betaville. Sources told that outlet that one of Europe’s largest private equity outfits is considering a takeover of Worldline.

A spokesperson for Worldline told PYMNTS the company does not comment on market rumors.

The news comes one month after Worldline’s shares hit a record low upon the company’s announcement that it was reducing its sales forecast.

Worldline projected organic revenue growth of 6% to 7%, down from an earlier prediction of 8% to 10%, leading its stock to plunge 57% and erasing $3.9 billion in market value.

“During the third quarter of 2023, some of our core geographies, in particular the German market, have shown macroeconomic slowdown,” Worldline said.

“In effect, consumers have started to allocate more of their spending to non-discretionary verticals rather than discretionary ones, impacting our growth and profitability.”

As PYMNTS has written, a lack of confidence among consumers has led them to cut back on spending, as they expect pressure on their household budgets to persist into next year

Recent PYMNTS research showed that incomes are not matching inflation, an observation made by an eyebrow-raising 85% of households. Worldline’s drop in price followed a pattern shown elsewhere in the FinTech space this year. For example, August saw Dutch payments company Adyen’s stock price decline by 44%.

Meanwhile, Worldline has gotten approval to expand its presence in Great Britain.

The company announced Tuesday (Nov. 28) that it had gotten a payment institution authorization from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

“The licensing confirms Worldline’s ambitions to further reinforce its presence in the U.K. and enhance its offerings for both local and international merchants operating across the country,” the company said in a news release. Worldline said it plans to consolidate all merchant customer-related activities and invest in its offering for local customers.