(Bloomberg) — Italy’s Nexi SpA agreed to buy SIA SpA to create one of Europe’s biggest payment providers, adding to the wave of consolidation sweeping the continent’s financial services industry.

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The all-share deal values closely-held SIA at 4.56 billion euros ($5.3 billion) and gives Nexi a 70% stake in the combination. It catapults the joint company into the nation’s top 10 publicly traded businesses, with annual revenue of about 1.8 billion euros and a market value of more than 15 billion euros.

“The combination with SIA should create significant value for shareholders,” analysts at Kepler Cheuvreux wrote in a note to investors on Monday. The deal “looks fairly strategic and the deal should finally bring more synergies than initially expected.”

Payment providers are ramping up acquisitions to bulk up across Europe, with France’s Worldline SA agreeing in February to acquire Ingenico Group SA in a 7.8 billion-euro deal. The industry is one of the most active for M&A globally as firms seek become more competitive and keep pace with rapidly changing technology.

Nexi and SIA wrapped up more than a year of negotiations after disagreements over government and valuations brought the talks to the brink of collapse several times. The merger creates a company with about 2 million merchants and 120 million cards, potentially making it a stronger competitor to Worldline and Adyen NV of the Netherlands.

Nexi is seeking to expand even further to become the biggest European payments provider, people with knowledge of the matter said. The Italian company has made a non-binding offer for Denmark-based Nets A/S, they said.



Paolo Bertoluzzo wearing a suit and tie: Nexi SpA Raises $2.3 Billion in Europe's Largest IPO in 2019


© Bloomberg
Nexi SpA Raises $2.3 Billion in Europe’s Largest IPO in 2019

Paolo Bertoluzzo

Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Nets Said to Draw Takeover Interest From Nexi, Global Payments

Nexi CEO Paolo Bertoluzzo will lead the new

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the Italian payments group Nexi are pictured in Milan, Italy, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – The boards of Italian payment group Nexi NEXII.MI and smaller rival SIA will meet later on Sunday and are expected to agree terms for a long-discussed merger, two sources with knowledge of the deal said.

Nexi and SIA, which is controlled by Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), have been talking about a merger for more than a year and a half, but differences over pricing and governance have proved a sticking point.

The sources said the accord would be an all share deal, with Nexi getting about 70% of the merged company and SIA some 30%. Private equity funds own around 33% of Nexi and this holding is expected to translate into some 23% of the new concern, while CDP should have some 25% in total.

Full terms of the accord are expected to be released before markets open on Monday.

In recent weeks SIA has reached an agreement to keep UniCredit as a client and to extend the contract, removing a major hurdle in determining the company’s valuation in its talks with Nexi, sources said.

The payment sector has seen a wave of mergers and acquisitions, led by U.S. rivals seeking to build up their share of digital transactions.

French rival Worldline WLN.PA agreed to buy local peer Ingenico in February in a 7.8 billion euro deal that will create the fourth-biggest payments company in the world.

CDP has been looking for a deal with Nexi to create a national champion in the payment market and secure important financial infrastructure, sources said.

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Barbara Lewis

Source Article

(Bloomberg) — Italy’s Nexi SpA and SIA SpA are set to announce their merger after their boards meet Sunday to approve a deal to create one of Europe’s biggest payment providers, people familiar with the matter said.



a sign on the side of a train station: A pedestrian passes the Nexi SpA headquarters in Milan, Italy, on Monday, April 15, 2019. The initial public offering of payment-service company Nexi raised 2.01 billion euros ($2.3 billion), making it the biggest listing in Europe so far this year and the third major IPO of a payment-processing institution in the region in less than a year.


© Bloomberg
A pedestrian passes the Nexi SpA headquarters in Milan, Italy, on Monday, April 15, 2019. The initial public offering of payment-service company Nexi raised 2.01 billion euros ($2.3 billion), making it the biggest listing in Europe so far this year and the third major IPO of a payment-processing institution in the region in less than a year.

As part of the agreement, Nexi would approve a reserved capital increase for SIA shareholders, with no cash component, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Nexi would hold about 70% of the merged company and SIA 30%, they said. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA, SIA’s main investor, would have about 25% of the merged entity, the people said.

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Nexi and SIA spokespeople had no comment. The merger announcement could come soon as before the market opens on Monday, said the people. Newspaper Repubblica reported the news earlier.

The firms wrapped up more than a year of negotiations over a combination as payment providers across Europe look for deals that can add scale. Combining the two Italian companies would create a stronger competitor to France’s Worldline SA, which agreed in February to acquire Ingenico Group SA in a 7.8 billion-euro ($9.1 billion) deal.

Discussions have been on the brink of collapse several times over divergences on governance and valuations. In the last few weeks talks intensified after SIA reached an accord to keep Italian lender UniCredit SpA as its main client, a key sticking point in determining its valuation, people with knowledge of the matter