Partnerships / Acquisitions

Worldline Needs To Clear EU's Antitrust Hurdles In Ingenico Deal

Worldline, the French payments company currently in talks for a 7.8 billion euro deal to buy fellow payments giant Ingenico, might need to go through some concessions to the EU's European Commission before the deal can be completed, Reuters reports.

Worldline's acquisition of Ingenico is part of a recent trend of companies' mergers and acquisitions kicked off by U.S. competitors last year to try and drive up digital transaction shares.

Ingenico has strong connections in the fields of travel, health and retail that endear it to Worldline. Worldline started off from French IT company Axios.

But without concessions, Worldline may not be able to alleviate all of the EU's concerns, and so the deal might have to go through a full-scale EU investigation once the preliminary review is done, Reuters writes. The company has until Wednesday (Sept. 9) to offer concessions. Or it can try and convince the EU that the concessions are unnecessary.

Worldline said it is “pursuing the usual procedure of discussions with the Commission and the process is underway, within the expected timetable,” Reuters writes.

The combination of the two payments companies would create the industry's fourth-largest competitor in that field, PYMNTS wrote earlier this year. The projected 2019 revenues were €5.3 billion.

The deal encompasses a buyout of 81 percent stock and 19 percent cash, and Worldline CEO Gilles Grapinet would head the new firm, with Ingenico chairman Bernard Bourigeaud expected to be named as a non-executive chairman. The combined new company will encompass 20,000 employees across 50 countries, and will service 1 million merchant customers and 1,200 financial institutions.

Bourigeaud said the takeover will offer a new opportunity for a payments powerhouse that can rival the biggest names in the field, while research firm Bryan, Garnier & Co said the partnership could boost Worldline's status in Europe and help it compete better with U.S. rivals. Nick Tubb, head of commercial payments for Ingenico's eCommerce arm, said competition was an important factor that the buyout could boost.

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