Eurobank sells 80% of merchant acquiring to Worldline

Eurobank, one of Greece’s four largest banks, is selling 80 per cent of its merchant acquiring business to Worldline for €256 million.

Eurobank Merchant Acquiring (EBMA) is a card acquirer with a 21 per cent share of transaction volumes processed in the country. The business currently manages around 219 million transactions acquired per year, representing a payment volume of about € 7 billion.

The company has a portfolio of 123,000 merchants.

The French payments giant explained that the move will help expand its merchant services activities in the southern European market. It said the region was still driven by the shift from cash to card and has a "significant electronic payments adoption rate," as well as online and e-commerce development.

The company added that the exposure to the Greek economy, fuelled by the travel and hospitality industry, also offers added growth opportunities.

“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," said Fokion Karavias, chief executive, Eurobank. "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.”

Gilles Grapinet, chief exec of Worldline, said that the acquisition is in line with the the company's plan to further expand its merchant services activities, adding that it also allows the business to leverage its footprint in Greece, where it already purchased Cardlink earlier this year.

"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," he added. "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."

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

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