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November 17, 2020

Santander to acquire Wirecard’s core business in Europe

Spain’s Banco Santander has agreed to acquire highly specialised technology assets from the European merchant payments business of insolvent payments firm Wirecard .

The Spanish lender will pay €100m ($120m) for Wirecard’s core business acquisition in Europe.

In Europe, Wirecard processes electronic payments for merchants through its technology platform, which has also been divested to Santander along with its credit card issuing business.

The divestiture follows an “intense” investor process, according to Wirecard’s insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe.

The sale comes months after the scandal-plagued German payments service provider filed for insolvency back in June 2020.

Wirecard has already exited the Brazil, Romania and North America markets, while the investor processes for Asia, South Africa and Turkey units are currently underway.

Jaffe said: “We have completed the investor process for Wirecard Core successfully despite the most unfavourable conditions.

“This is even more remarkable because the whole process has been overshadowed by ever-new scandal reports of past events and initially no liquidity was available to maintain business operations.

“It is particularly pleasing that this result offers employees a positive perspective.”

As part of the transaction, some 500 employees of Wirecard will become part of the global merchant services team at Santander.

This team comes under the purview of Santander’s payments technology franchise named ‘Getnet’.

The deal will support Getnet’s European expansion with e-commerce capabilities, multinational merchant servicing and other payment services.

Already launched in Latin America, Santander is now expanding its merchant platform to other countries.

Wirecard’s assets will bring acquiring and issuance services to the open payments platform.

Banco Santander executive chairman Ana Botin said: “At Santander, we aim to provide the best payment solutions and services to our customers.

“The assets and talent we will gain as part of the acquisition will help us accelerate Getnet’s expansion plans in Europe, while also increasing our product development capacity.”

Subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to complete by 2020-end.

Until then, Santander and Wirecard will work together to migrate the customers, vendors and partners to the Getnet franchise.

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