Italian payment firm Nexi, and Italian investment firm, SIA, have merged catapulting the joint company into the nation’s top 10 publicly traded businesses with annual revenue of 1.8 billion euros ($US 2 billion), a market value of more than 15 billion euros ($US 17 billion) and over a 70% market share in Italy.
The two companies have been in merger talks for 18 months, resolving differences over governance and valuation until an agreement was recently reached, according to a report in Bloomberg.
The all-share merger, which is expected to close by the summer of 2021, values SIA, which is controlled by Italian state investment agency Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, at 4.6 billion euros, ($ US 3.4 billion) roughly half the market value of Nexi.
The combined company will be the largest in continental Europe, handling payments for roughly 2 million merchants, managing 120 million cards and processing more than 21 billion transactions a year with a workforce of over 5 thousand individuals in 15 countries.
The Nexi-SIA deal joins other company consolidations in the payments industry. France’s payment company, Worldline’s WLN.PA, acquired Ingenico for 7.8-billion euros, ($US 9.1 billion) creating the world’s fourth-biggest payments firm.
Nexi current CEO, Paolo Bertoluzzo, will become CEO and general manager of the new entity.
“This transaction will create a large Italian PayTech company leader in Europe, a great technological and digital excellence with scale and capabilities to play an increasingly leading role in Italy and at an international level in a market, like the European one, that sees strong consolidation trends,” Bertoluzzo said in a statement.