Mastercard has agreed to buy the majority of Danish payments company Nets’ corporate services business for €2.85 billion (£2.6 billion).
The acquisition includes Nets’ clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions, boosting Mastercard’s account-to-account (A2A) capabilities.
The deal is New York-based Mastercard’s largest ever. It includes Nets’ open banking assets and bolsters the payment processing giant’s faster payments infrastructure.
The deal comes less than 24 months after private equity firm Hellman & Friedman bought Nets for $5.3 billion, delisting it from Nasdaq Copenhagen.
“Global Payments Opportunity is Accelerating”
Mastercard’s chief product & innovation officer Michael Miebach said: “The global opportunity for real-time payments is accelerating. The combination with existing Mastercard assets such as Vocalink, Transfast and Transactis delivers real-time payment capabilities, innovation and expertise that are truly differentiated.”
The acquisition will boost Mastercard’s European presence, it said, and also help it bolster its faster payments infrastructure and PSD2 readiness.
Nets’ Corporate Services business operates both managed services and software license models in several European markets. It also offers a new Open Banking solution for banks, fintechs and third-party processors, including a sandbox, and compliance/security features that may prove useful as a September 14 deadline looms.
“We are a multi-rail company – this deal further demonstrates the strength of our strategy, staying ahead of the changing landscape, delivering essential choice to banks, businesses and consumers,” added Miebach of the Mastercard Nets acquisition.
Mastercard Nets Deal Follows Series of Multi-Billion Payments Sector Buyouts
The acquisition adds “depth and scale” to its technologies Mastercard said, adding that its account-to-account (A2A) expertise “now extends into continental Europe to match its capabilities in the Americas, Asia, Middle East, and Africa.
Mastercard expects the transaction to be dilutive for up to 24 months after the deal closes, primarily related to purchase accounting and integration related costs.
The acquisition comes amid ongoing payments industry consolidation and is just the latest multi-billion transaction in the sector.
High-profile deals include FIS’s $35 billion acquisition of Worldpay in March (which closed this week) and Global Payments buyout of Total Systems for $21.5 billion in May. Earlier this year, Fiserv also agreed a $39 billion deal to buy First Data.