Worldline and Equens Sign MoU to Create a New Entity as Pan-European Leader

Worldline, a European market leader in payment and transactional services, and Equens, one of the largest payment service providers in Europe, announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a strategic new entity. The strategic move is aimed at creating new, leading and most innovative payment service providers in Europe.

Gilles Grapinet, Worldline CEO, said in the press release, "This industrial transaction with Equens is a decisive step reflecting our strategic ambition to be one of the leading consolidators of payments in Europe. It will provide an opportunity to join forces with highly experienced payment experts from Equens and to share, within our enlarged group, a common future. I am particularly pleased that Michael Steinbach, Equens CEO, will lead our new financial processing champion, ‘Equens Worldline Company.’ From a shareholder's' perspective, this combination will provide significant value creation through the realization of considerable synergies while preserving our strong financial flexibility. This merger will also allow us to provide to our respective customers even more efficient, reliable and highly innovative payment services."

As per the terms of the agreement Equens Worldline Company will be the brand name for this new entity. It will be the largest pan-European financial processor with more than 10 billion payment transfers, 6 billion POS and ATM transactions, 100 million cards under management and office locations in eight European countries. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016.

According to the main terms of the MoU agreement, the transaction contains two parts:

In Financial Processing: Creation of the Equens Worldline Company

Creation of the new Equens Worldline Company. Worldline will hold 63.6% of the newly created Equens Worldline Company shares in exchange of the merger of its current financial and acquiring processing activities in Germany, France and Benelux with the corresponding Equens processing activities. The current Equens shareholders, ABN AMRO Bank, DZ BANK, ICBPI, ING and Rabobank will stay as shareholders and own the remaining 36.4%.

In Commercial Acquiring: Acquisition of PaySquare in Cash

Worldline will acquire Equens’ commercial acquiring subsidiary PaySquare for €72 million in cash. The activities of PaySquare will be combined with Worldline Merchant Services & Terminals Global Business Line.

Michael Steinbach, Equens CEO, said in the press release, "Joining forces with Worldline and creating the new entity, Equens Worldline Company, is a major milestone in consolidating the European payments market. This step follows consequently the proven strategy of Equens since our foundation in 2006, with a truly pan-European processing payment service provider, to maximize economies of scale and scope, and with that actively supporting the development of an integrated European payments market. Because of the complementarity of the service portfolios of Worldline and Equens, current clients from both companies will substantially benefit in terms of an enlarged, state-of-the-art product portfolio and time-to-market. Based on that, Equens Worldline Company will create new and innovative business opportunities. I am very excited about this joint future with a highly respected innovative company in the payments market and look forward to the promising future of the new Equens Worldline Company."

Both of the companies look at this agreement as an important step in regard to the European payments industry. The main beneficiary will be the respective companies’ clients who will now have an enlarged product and service offering with the help of which they can come up with new & innovative business and grab new opportunities in the market.