European payments rivals Nets of Denmark and Nexi of Italy have negotiated an “all-share” merger deal that would establish a large payments platform for the pan-European market, the companies said in a statement on Monday (Nov. 2).
The deal includes long-term lock-up commitments by Nets’ current shareholders. The merger would create a “one-stop-shop” for payments, with expanded capabilities and a “diversified geographic reach.” It will also deliver more products and services and offer customers “enhanced exposure to eCommerce.”
Nets was purchased by Hellman & Friedman in 2017 and has since scaled its core payments business both organically and by strategic acquisition. Recent mergers and acquisitions (M&A) include Concardis Payment Group, Dotpay/eCard, P24 and PeP.
After a deal with Mastercard closes, Nets will focus on merchant services, “with a strong eCommerce exposure and proposition, and on issuing processing and innovative digital payments methods,” the statement said.
Mastercard’s $3.19 billion acquisition of Nets Group’s account-to-account business will be finalized before the merger with Nexi closes. Mastercard has said that it was planning to expand Nets’ capabilities beyond Nordic markets.
The 2019 deal hit an antitrust snag in April when European regulators said the purchase disrupts competition. About 80 percent of Nets Group’s revenues are from bill payment services in Denmark and Norway.
The announcement follows the agreement Nexi reached earlier this month to merge with its FinTech domestic rival SIA. The $5.4 billion stock deal will create one of Europe’s biggest payment platforms. The deal gives Nexi’s shareholders 70 percent of the combined new company; SIA investors get the remaining 30 percent.
Last year, Nexi raised $2.3 billion in its initial public offering (IPO), which was among the biggest IPOs in Europe in 2019.