BEZONS, FRANCE: Worldline has signed a binding agreement for the acquisition of 80% of Eurobank Merchant Acquiring activities, one of the main acquirers in Greece with a c. 20% market share.
Worldline is the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry.
Gilles Grapinet, CEO of Worldline, said: “I am very proud to announce the acquisition of Eurobank Merchant Acquiring. This operation is fully in line with our strategy to further expand our Merchant Services activities towards the South of Europe and at the same time allows us to leverage our footprint in Greece that was established earlier this year through the acquisition of Cardlink.
The combination of both companies will create a meaningful, comprehensive and leading position in the fast-growing Greek market that is driven by a steady ongoing adoption of electronic payments. This transaction offers attractive development opportunities for Worldline in the coming years, building on our direct access to an existing merchants portfolio with a full suite of end-to-end payment solutions.
With Eurobank Merchant Acquiring, Worldline keeps on building the Europe of payments beyond its existing borders, with a focus on value-creating consolidation opportunities, enhancing Worldline scale, reach and direct presence in a growing number of countries.”
Fokion Karavias, CEO of Eurobank, said: “The agreement we reached with Worldline regarding the cards acquiring business is fully in line with our strategic plan to focus on our core activities, while further strengthening our capital base. Our clients will benefit from a prime customer experience in a secure transaction environment, provided by a world leader in payment services with the global reach and the cutting-edge digital capabilities required in a fast-moving, tech-driven sector.”
Eurobank is one of the four systemic banks in Greece relying on a large distribution network of c. 300 branches, seeking to find the right and exclusive partner to acquire, operate and develop their merchant acquiring portfolio in Greece.
Eurobank Merchant Acquiring (EBMA) is a meaningful card acquirer in the very dynamic Greek market with 21% share of transaction volumes processed in the country. EBMA manages c. 219 million transactions acquired per year representing a payment volume of c. € 7 billion from a c. 190,000 POS network. The company serves a well-diversified and high-quality portfolio of 123,000 merchants of which more than 50% are SMBs in MSV terms.
This acquisition represents an opportunity for Worldline to strongly expand its Merchant Services activities in this dynamic Southern European market, still driven by the shift from cash to card with a significant electronic payments adoption rate and online and e-commerce development. In parallel, the exposure to the Greek economy fueled by the travel & hospitality industry offers added growth opportunities.
As part of the transaction, Worldline will enter into a long-term commercial partnership with Eurobank aiming to leverage its strong banking network as a key commercial channel in order to distribute Worldline’s and EBMA best-in-class payment product and services to physical and online merchants.
The leading position of the combined entity coupled with Worldline’s best-in-class technology and payment expertise will allow a double-digit growth rate in revenues for the entity in the coming years. This accelerated growth rate will be achieved through POS acceptance deployment, the introduction of value-added services, and a one-stop-shop offering for merchants.
As the European leader in payments, Worldline keeps executing its strategic roadmap with a focus on value-creative consolidation opportunities to enhance its scale, reach and direct presence in a growing number of countries in close partnership with leading local financial institutions.
Furthermore, a robust integration and development program will be implemented at closing to further improve profitability rate through operating leverage and costs efficiency.