Visa Inc. to Buy Visa Europe for Up to €21.2 Billion (Nov. 2, 2015)
Visa Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Visa Europe for up to €21.2 billion (US$23.4 billion), bringing Visa’s global networks under the same roof for the first time since 2007. The long-anticipated deal earned the unanimous support of both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to close in Visa’s fiscal third quarter of 2016, pending regulatory approval. Under terms of the agreement, Visa Inc. will pay Visa Europe’s owners €16.5 billion (US$18.2 billion) up front—in a mix of cash and stock—with an additional payment of up to €4.7 billion (US$5.2 billion) payable following the fourth anniversary of the closing. Visa Inc. headquarters will remain in Foster City, Calif.
Visa Europe was founded in 2007, when more than 3,700 European banks and payment services providers banded together in a membership association after splintering off from Visa Inc. prior to Visa Inc.’s IPO. Since that time, Visa Europe has operated as a separate entity offering Visa-branded products and services within Europe. Visa Europe processes more than 18 billion transactions annually, comprising €1.5 trillion (US$1.7) trillion in volume, according to the association.
Along with giving Visa Inc. access to the European market, bringing Visa Europe back into the fold will help Visa increase efficiency and give the network’s European clients access to Visa Inc.’s scale and resources, Visa Inc. said. “This transaction is beneficial for financial institutions, acquirers, merchants, cardholders and other partners, as well as for our employees and shareholders, said Visa Inc. CEO Charles Scharf. “We look forward to the new integrated Visa, and we are fully committed to ensuring our efforts in Europe are tailored to meet local market needs. This includes being responsive to the evolving regulatory landscape, maintaining a European data center and partnering with Europe’s growing payments ecosystem to co-develop locally relevant products, services and experiences.”