Banking

First Data Sells European Business To SIA

European payments company SIA announced it is acquiring First Data’s card processing businesses in parts of Central and Southeastern Europe for €375 million.

The acquisition provides card processing, card production, call center and back-office services that include 13.3 million payment cards and 1.4 billion transactions, as well as management of POS terminals and ATMs. The businesses are primarily located in Greece, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.

Last year, these businesses generated a combined revenue of approximately €100 million for First Data. Once the deal closes, SIA will become a leading player in processing and services in the region. As part of the agreement, around 1,400 First Data employees will move over to SIA.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to become the leading European independent digital payments platform. SIA is further strengthening its position in the e-payments international market, increasing its market shares in e-money high-growth countries,” Massimo Arrighetti, CEO of SIA, said in a press release.

Despite the sale, First Data says it remains highly committed to the European issuer processing business.

“This transaction aligns with our focus on portfolio management. While these are solid businesses, aspects of their operations are no longer core to our strategy, and this sale allows us to deploy the proceeds to create value in line with our capital allocation priorities,” said Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO of First Data. “We believe we have found an excellent partner for this transaction, as SIA’s integrated payment infrastructure and service offerings and presence across Europe make it the perfect home for these businesses and put our former customers in capable hands.”

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 and is subject to normal closing conditions.

Deutsche Bank and K&L Gates advised and counseled First Data on the transaction, while HSBC acted as financial advisor to SIA, White & Case as legal advisor, and PWC as tax and accounting due diligence advisor.

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