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CEE joint venture to provide merchant payment services

Erste Group Bank AG (Erste Group) has entered into an agreement with Global Payments to establish a joint venture providing merchant acquiring and payment processing services (merchant payment services) to retailers in the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

Upon completion of the transaction and pending regulatory approvals, Erste Group will sell

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CEE joint venture to provide merchant payment services

51% of its merchant acquiring businesses in the three countries for €29.94 million to Global Payments, resulting in a joint venture where Erste Group will hold a 49% stake.

Furthermore, the two companies have signed an agreement with CaixaBank, the largest retail bank in Spain and one of Erste Group’s key shareholders, whereby CaixaBank will hold a stake in the joint venture based on its existing strategic partnership with Global Payments.

On the occasion of the framework agreement sealing, the officials of the companies commented: “Our clients expect from their acquiring bank innovative technology, better service availability, reduced transaction costs and top class information management.

By joining forces with two strong expert companies in this field we will increase the focus on our acquiring business and further upgrade the quality service that we provide to merchants across CEE. The deal represents an important step for Erste Group in CEE and we expect it to lead to further growth in our payments business”, said Peter Bosek, Erste Group Board Member responsible for retail business.

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with CaixaBank and Erste Group,” said Jeff Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Global Payments. “The joint venture will allow us to significantly expand our direct distribution footprint in Europe with leading financial partners, catalyze our capabilities to service multinational customers across the common European payments area and leverage our global product and service offering to Erste Group Bank’s merchants.

The partnership positions our European business for accelerated growth at a favourable time in Europe.”

The transaction is expected to close during Q4 2015. The joint venture will locate its headquarters in Prague, the Czech Republic and have sales offices all across the region.

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