Worldline [Euronext: WLN], a global player focused on payment services, announced the signing of a binding agreement for the acquisition of Banco Desio’s merchant acquiring activities and the planned set-up of a commercial partnership “aiming to leverage Banco Desio’s banking network in order to distribute Worldline’s payment products and services to merchant customers of the bank in Italy.”
Gilles Grapinet, CEO of Worldline, said:
“I am very proud to announce the acquisition of Banco Desio’s merchant acquiring activities. This operation is fully in line with our strategy to further expand our Merchant Services activities towards the South of Europe and in particular in Italy, a highly attractive and strategic market for Worldline where we intend to continue leveraging our footprint built last year through the acquisition of Axepta Italy early 2022 and the set-up of the Worldline MS Italy joint venture.
This transaction “offers attractive development opportunities for Worldline in the coming years, leveraging a strong banking network as a key commercial channel in order to distribute Worldline’s full suite of end-to-end payment solutions to merchants.”
With this transaction, Worldline keeps on “playing the leading role in the consolidation of the European payments industry, with a focus on value-creating consolidation opportunities, enhancing Worldline scale, reach and significant presence in a growing number of countries.”
Banco Desio Group is considered to be “an important Italian banking group with a strong local approach delivered through a network of more than 230 branches.” The banking group was looking “for a partner to acquire, operate and develop its merchant acquiring portfolio which delivers payment solutions to c. 15 thousand merchants generating c. 40 million transactions per year, representing c. € 2.0 billion of MSV.” It also “manages the marketing and distribution of more than 19 thousand POS to the merchants within the bank’s network.”
As part of the transaction, Worldline will “enter a long-term commercial partnership with Banco Desio aiming to leverage its strong banking network as a key commercial channel in order to distribute Worldline’s best-in-class payment product and services to merchants.”
Following the acquisition of Axepta Italy early 2022 and the set-up of the Worldline MS Italy joint venture, this transaction is “fully in line with Worldline’s strategy to reinforce its presence in Italy, a highly attractive and strategic market for Worldline.”
The country is “the third largest euro economy in Europe with a cash penetration that remains high with cash accounting for close to 76% of total payment volume in 20211, a rapid shift from cash to card and electronic payment adoption and by one of the highest POS densities per inhabitants in Europe.” Transactions acquired “are well balanced by card type (Credit cards, PagoBancomat, and Debit & Prepaid).”
As an additional very compelling characteristic, Luxury and Retail market “is one of the most important sectors of the Italian economy and a key pillar of its economic growth.”
In addition, with close to 100 million tourists per year, Italy is “one of the most visited countries in Europe and in the world.” This represents an attractive feature of the Italian payment market “offering numerous additional growth opportunities in a post-Covid context by leveraging the very rich Worldline portfolio of Luxury & Retail and Travel & Hospitality solutions.”
For more details on this announcement, check here.