Mastercard agrees £2.6bn deal to buy part of Nets

Mastercard has agreed to buy the bulk of the corporate services business of European firm Nets for 2.85 billion euros (£2.6 billion) amid a push into faster payments.

The deal, which is expected to complete in the first half of 2020, will see Mastercard snap up the clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions of Nets’ corporate services arm.

Nets is a European payments technology firm, which is headquartered in Denmark and employs 3,500 staff across the group.

The deal follows Mastercard’s move in 2016 to acquire London-based VocaLink, which enables direct payments between bank accounts, for £700 million.

Michael Miebach, chief product and innovation officer at Mastercard, said: “This deal strengthens our unique position as the one-stop partner for any bank, merchant or government’s payment needs.”

He added that together with existing operations such as VocaLink, the acquisition boosts its “real-time payment capabilities, innovation and expertise”.

Bo Nilsson, group chief executive of Nets, said: “With its resources and global reach, Mastercard is uniquely positioned to unlock the potential of Nets’ account-to-account business.”

Mastercard admitted the deal will impact earnings for up to two years after it completes.

The move comes less than two years after Nets was taken private in a takeover by  a consortium led by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for 33.1 billion Danish kroner (£4.1 billion).

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