Publicado 03/11/2015 20:33CET
- Comunicado -

Worldline and Equens Intend to Join Forces to Create the New Pan-European Leader in Payment Services (1)

BEZONS, France and UTRECHT, The Netherlands, November 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Worldline, [Euronext: WLN], European market leader in payment and transactional services headquartered in France, and Equens, one of the largest payment service providers in Europe and headquartered in the Netherlands, today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a strategic transaction aiming to create the new pan-European leader in payment services.  

Worldline and Equens consider this step as a major milestone in the consolidation of the European payments market. The strategic aim of the new entity is to be one of the leading and most innovative payment service providers for financial institutions and corporates in Europe.

Gilles Grapinet, CEO of Worldline says: "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 shareholders' 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."

Michael Steinbach, Equens' CEO adds: "Joining forces with Worldline and creating the new entity, the 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, the 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."

Memorandum of Understanding 

Under the terms of the agreement, the transaction is made of two components:

In Commercial Acquiring: projected acquisition of 100 % of PaySquare by Worldline in cash 

Worldline has agreed with Equens to acquire 100% of its commercial acquiring subsidiary PaySquare. The PaySquare business will be directly integrated in Worldline Merchant Services & Terminals Global Business Line.

In Financial Processing: creation of Equens Worldline Company 

The agreement aims at the creation of a new entity branded Equens Worldline Company, owned by Worldline at 63.6%:

- The Equens Worldline Company will become the largest pan-European financial

processor, targeting 2016 revenue of c. EUR 700 million and OMDA of c. EUR 120 million,

managing approximately 100 million payment cards, processing c. 10 billion

transactions, 6 billion ATM and POS transactions and employing 3,000 experts in

payment.

- Worldline will receive 63.6% of newly created Equens 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 Bank and Rabobank will stay as

shareholders and own the remaining 36.4%.

- Equens Worldline Company will benefit from the combination of the two highly

experienced international management teams from Equens and Worldline FPL Global

Service Line, thus ensuring a strong execution of the commonly established industrial

and synergy plan. Mr. Michael Steinbach, current CEO of Equens, will be appointed as

CEO of the Equens Worldline Company.

- A detailed industrial project will be implemented, with significant synergies, as well

as revenue expansion through complementary and highly innovative offerings.

- The top 5 clients of Equens have committed to renew their commercial contracts for an

additional 5-year period at closing.

Post-transaction, the enlarged Worldline group will see its consolidated revenues growing by c. 25 % to reach c 1,5 billion EUR (pro forma 2015) and will benefit from the two components of this strategic combination with:

- A significant reinforcement of the Worldline group market positions both in

Financial processing and Commercial Acquiring:

-In Financial Processing, through the newly established Equens Worldline Company,

Worldline group will strengthen its European leadership in card-based payment services

and will benefit from Equens' expertise in SEPA mass-payment systems and Automated

Clearing House (ACH). With Financial Processing revenue increasing by c.65% and with

an enlarged geographic reach, the Group will accelerate its ability to cross-sell its

value added services in 5 key European markets (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The

Netherlands).

-In Commercial Acquiring, revenue will increase by c. 25% and the Group will benefit

from PaySquare strong positions in merchant services in Benelux and in cross-border

acquiring (The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland), resulting in more integrated

and comprehensive omni-channel offers;

- Additional expertise from 1300 electronic payment experts from Equens joining the

Worldline group;

- Increased R&D activities to accelerate innovation and better support customers' time

to market and digital transformation;

- Even stronger reliability, robustness and security for processing services thanks to

scalability and further industrialization of its platforms and solutions;

- New economies of scale and significant additional levers to generate synergies.

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016, after the projected reorganization of the contributed businesses, and is subject to work councils' information and consultation processes in Worldline and Equens, as well as regulatory and antitrust authorities' approvals.

About Worldline 

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