Asiakastieto Group has agreed to acquire Swedish bank Handelsbanken’s 24.5% stake in credit information agency UC.

As part of the agreement, Handelsbanken will receive a 9% stake in the larger combined entity and €24.2m in cash.

The combined company will employ nearly 500 employees and have a combined customer base consisting of almost 70,000 companies, as well as private individuals.

Asiakastieto CEO Jukka Ruuska said: “The combined company will be well positioned to leverage the market opportunity with larger scale and resources. Engaged and talented people are in the core of the two companies and that is to continue in the new, stronger entity.

“Higher efficiency will play a key role in enabling our future growth. Together we will take a leap towards the next level of digital services and data innovations. We will create a stronger future together.”

UC CEO Anders Hugosson said: “The two companies will build a stronger future together and the combined company will be well positioned to deliver value to its customers and other stakeholders.”

The companies are planning to introduce existing services in Finland and Sweden respectively, according to Hugosson.

The deal is expected to generate a tax-free capital gain of some SEK825m for Handelsbanken.

Also, Handelsbanken’s common equity tier 1 ratio is estimated to increase by 0.1 percentage point following the completion of the deal.

The new company is listed on Nasdaq in Helsinki.