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Argentina: Advent buys part in Visa for US$725M

 |  January 23, 2019

American investment group Advent International completed on January 22, 2019, the acquisition of 51% of shares in Argentine company PRISMA – which holds the license for the operation of the VISA banking card system in the country – for US$724.2 million.

The consortium of banks that were the previous owners of PRISMA—among which are Banco Patagonia, Macro, Santander, HSBC, Itaú, ICBC, BBVA, and Galicia—will keep the remaining 49%, worth US$695.8 million. The transaction was completed one day before the deadline date for divestment that the Argentinian competition authority, the CNDC, had imposed on the group after being found liable for anti-competitive behavior and abuse of a dominance. The banking entities now have a period of up to three years to divest the rest of the company’s shares, according to the plan they presented to the government in 2017.

“This is the most important case we’ve had and it is the first one that, following an investigation for anticompetitive practices, ends with the sale of an Argentine company. We see it in a very positive light because it will help advance towards a process with greater competition in the payment processing market” said Esteban Greco, head of the CNDC.

Full Content: La Nación

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