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French Payment Giants Merge in a 7.8 Billion Euros Deal

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French fintech companies Ingenico and Worldline are set to merge. The €7.8 billion ($8.6 billion) buyout deal was accepted by shareholders of the companies, both of which had previous exposure to cryptocurrency.

Worldline has announced it agreed a deal to buy local rival Ingenico in a €7.8 billion deal. The two companies said the merger would create a regional champion and the world’s fourth largest payment services provider, which would provide services to nearly 1 million merchants and would have had combined revenues of €5.3 billion in 2019.

The deal is said to give Ingenico an equity value of €7.8 billion, and will leave Worldline shareholders owning 65% of the combined group. The companies said they expect the deal to close in June or July this year, subject to regulatory clearance.

The fintech sector is consolidating fast, with global payments set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023 as more people switch from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales, according to research by consulting firm McKinsey.

Cryptocurrency Exposure

Worldline provides a large variety of services ranging from Point of Sale terminals, online merchant services to e-ticketing and fleet management systems. Ingenico is primarily known for its Point of Sale devices despite major diversification efforts.

In November 2019, Ingenico had partnered with Pundi X, a project developing crypto-friendly Point of Sale devices. The crypto project used one of Ingenico’s devices to offer payments in major cryptocurrencies via its software.

In August, Ingenico was one of the collaborators in an Austrian initiative to accept cryptocurrencies in several telecom stores.

Worldline itself has also dealt with cryptocurrency. In November, a partnership with Bitcoin Suisse enabled 85,000 merchants to accept crypto in Switzerland.

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