With the acquisition of Axepta Italy, Worldline is enabled to to expand its Merchant Services activities in one of the most attractive payment market in Europe


Worldline acquires Axepta Italy. (Credit: Worldline.)

Worldline [Euronext: WLN], a leader in the payments industry, today announces the completion of its acquisition of Axepta Italy, as part of its European consolidation strategy.

The acquisition of 80% of Axepta Italy, a significant bank acquirer in the country, and the set-up of a strategic partnership with BNL in Merchant Services in Italy are part of Worldline’s strategy to expand its presence across Europe through partnerships with leading financial institutions. It follows the acquisition of Handelsbanken’s card-acquiring activities in the Nordics, the acquisition of Cardlink and the agreement for the acquisition of Eurobank Merchant Acquiring activities in Greece.

Being the third largest euro economies in Europe with a cash penetration that remains high, Italy region represents a highly attractive and strategic market driven by the shift from cash to card and electronic payment adoption, supported by a solid acceptance network and one of the highest POS density per habitants in Europe. Axepta Italy is one of the largest bank-owned acquirers in the country, with c. 200 million acquiring transactions per year (c. 5% market share in MSV) from a c. 220,000 POS acceptance network.

Axepta Italy and the partnership with BNL are the ideal cornerstone for Worldline to expand its Merchant Services activities in one of the most attractive payment market in Europe with significant growth and synergies opportunities. As part of the transaction, Worldline will enter in a long-term commercial partnership with BNL aiming at leveraging its strong banking network as a key commercial channel. A robust integration and development program will be implemented to further improve profitability rate through operating leverage and costs efficiency. Through this partnership, merchants will benefit from Worldline’s and Axepta Italy best-in-class and innovative payment products and services, to maximize their sales and provide a unified experience to their customers.

In the continuity of Worldline’s existing partnerships with more than 17 banks and banking federations (regrouping c. 100 adherents) in Italy, the creation of a joint venture with BNL (BNL retaining a 20% ownership in Axepta Italy) is also designed to be an open vehicle for welcoming existing partners and other Italian banks willing to benefit from delivery and servicing excellence, combined with scale and competitive cost structure.

Source: Company Press Release