The merger of SIA into Nexi will create an Italian player of European scale, ready to seize consolidation opportunities at international level

Nexi SIA

Instore payments using Nexi Pay. (Credit: Nexi Payments SpA.)

Italian digital payments company Nexi has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SIA to create a digital payments company with a capitalisation of over €15bn.

SIA is controlled by Italian investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) via its subsidiary CDP Equity.

The transaction will create a new European digital payments provider with proforma aggregated revenues of €1.8bn and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €1bn as of last December.

In case of successful completion of the merger, Nexi will get about 70% of the joint company and SIA with a 30% stake.

The merger will create a new technological and digital innovation hub in Italy and offer portfolio of solutions and capabilities across the digital payment ecosystem and with full coverage of the payments value chain, also at international level.

It will offer digital payments acceptance services for small and large merchants, omni-channel and e-commerce solutions, and issue and manage all types of cards and mobile payments apps. The new company will also offer B2B digital payments solutions to open banking; local public transportation solutions to banking networks along with clearing and trading services for Italian as well as for international institutions.

The merged entity will leverage both Nexi and SIA’s capabilities and partnerships to serve the entire digital payments ecosystem.

Nexi said the new group will also strengthen its position as a key technological partner for the entire banking and financial landscape by collaborating with main operators in the sector.

Nexi CEO Paolo Bertoluzzo said: “The new PayTech company, through its independent role and having CDP as anchor investor, will continue on its growth path as large Italian public company contributing, to an even greater extent, together with its partner Banks, to further accelerate the digital payments penetration in Italy and to the digitalization and modernization of the Country in favour of citizens, enterprises and Public Administration.”

The deal is expected to be closed by next summer

Nexi, the Italian payments provider claims that the new company will be the largest group in Continental Europe with 2 million merchants, 120 million cards and over 21 billion annual transactions processing capabilities.

SIA CEO Nicola Cordone said: “The integration of important hi-tech groups such as SIA and Nexi, thanks to the fundamental role and support of CDP, will create one, large, Italian digital payments player, leader in Europe and boasting the highest levels of excellence for its know-how, people and capabilities of on a global level.

“This operation will contribute to accelerate our Country on the path of digitalization towards a cashless society. This is in line with the mission we have worked on with pride, commitment and dedication for the past 40 years, putting citizens, enterprises, financial institutions, central banks, and the Public Administration at the center of the payment systems revolution.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be closed in the summer of next year.