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Worldline prevails in auction for SIX Payment Services
Posted on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:03
European payments and transactional services group Worldline has reached an agreement to acquire the payment services operations of Switzerland-based SIX Group for about EUR 2.30 billion.

The announcement follows a wide range of media reports that began in September last year and speculated the Zurich-headquartered firm was exploring a spinoff of SIX Payment Services either by way of a sale or an initial public offering.

Worldline has proved to be the preferred option, though private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Hellman & Friedman and French commercial bank Natixis also showed interest in the firm at some point.

In November, SIX Group confirmed plans for a separation of its card activities from its core operations, which is part of its long-term plan of bringing in a strategic partner to further develop its merchant acquiring and international payment processing business.

Under the terms of the offer made by Worldline, the buyer will pay the majority of the consideration in shares with a cash component of EUR 283.00 million.

Stockholders in SIX Group are expected to hold a 27.0 per cent stake in the suitor following closing, expected by the end of 2018.

For Worldline, the deal strengthens its European leadership position by boosting group revenue by 30.0 per cent, and by increasing the annual revenue of the merchant services business by 65.0 per cent to over EUR 1.00 billion and becoming the number one company in Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.

SIX Payment Services offers commercial and financial processing services primarily in Switzerland but also with a presence in Austria and Luxembourg with previous acquisitions of Paylife and Cetrel.

The company is expected to post EUR 530.00 million in revenue for fiscal 2019 and employs some 1,600 staff across six countries.

Gilles Grapinet, chief executive of Worldline, said the combined business “will benefit from reinforced industrial scale, numerous synergies and complementarities” that boost “our development, our profitability and that will at the same time, enlarge significantly our offerings to our customers”.

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