First Data's tech diversification drives European card account sale

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European payment gateway SIA has agreed to acquire First Data's card processing in a group of countries in Eastern Europe.

The $440 million deal covers 13.3 million payment cards, 1.4 billion yearly transactions, call center services and point of sale terminals in Greece, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. About 1,400 First Data employees will transfer to SIA.

First Data has been diversifying its merchant services product range over the past few years by adding software and other emerging payments technology. Part of that is expanding its VisionPLUS program, which will remain part of First Data's European issuer processing business.

"While these are solid businesses, aspects of their operations are no longer core to our strategy, and this sale allows us to deploy the proceeds to create value in line with our capital allocation priorities,” Frank Bisignano, First Data's chairman and CEO, said in a press release.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 and is subject to normal closing conditions.

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Payment processing M&A First Data Europe