Swedish bank SEB is to sell its card acquiring business Euroline to private equity player Nordic Capital for SEK 2.2 billion. Euroline, which acquires Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club transactions and is a major e-commerce player in the Nordic region, handled volumes of around SEK 100 billion in 2013. SEB has issued nearly four million cards under brands such as Eurocard, MasterCard, Visa and Diners Club and has card acquiring activities through Euroline in the four Nordic countries.
SEB will transfer its card acquiring operations to Nordic Capital and also has an option to invest up to 25% in the new business. According to SEB, the move to offload its acquiring business is partly in response to regulatory initiatives and technology innovation, which mean that acquiring businesses will likely require larger-scale and further investment in technology to meet changing end-user demands.
In March this year, private equity firms Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital bought Danish acquirer Nets from its existing shareholders, a group of 186 primarily Danish and Norwegian banks, for DKK 17 billion. Nets handled more than 6 billion card transactions supporting more than 33 million payment cards and over 500,000 merchants in the Nordics in 2013.
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