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Worldline Plans to Cut 8% of Staff to Save $215 Million


Worldline is planning to cut 8% of its workforce, part of a wave of financial sector layoffs.

The French payments company is looking to reduce costs by around $215 million and “support stronger future growth and cash generation,” according to a Wednesday (Feb. 7) press release. It has begun talks with unions about the job cuts.

Worldline has around 18,000 workers in 40 countries, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. That means about 1,400 employees would be affected.

The news follows a tumultuous few months for Worldline. The company in October slashed its sales outlook amid a tough European economic environment. The decision caused Worldline’s stock to plummet 57% and wiped out nearly $4 billion in market value.

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

In November, reports emerged that the company could be the target of a private equity takeover, sending its price back up.

As PYMNTS wrote at the time, Worldline is one of several merchant acquirers that have attracted private equity interest during this time of reduced stock prices and valuations.

Last month, Worldline took action to restore investor confidence, working with Morgan Stanley and Rothschild & Co. to weigh options that included the involvement of an anchor investor to support the stock, and working with French financial institutions, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to gauge their interest in purchasing a minority stake in the company.

Days later, Credit Agricole, a French lender, announced that it had purchased a 7% stake in Worldline, expanding on an existing partnership between the two firms.

Worldline’s planned staff reduction follows a January that saw the financial sector cut the most jobs in more than five years, with companies making 23,238 layoffs during the first month of the year, according to a report by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas (GCC).

Cost cutting was the main driver for layoffs across industries, CGC said. Other factors included broad economic trends, increased adoption of automation and artificial intelligence, and, with an election looming later this year, companies’ anticipation of policy changes that could impact their industries.