Mastercard Buys Controlling Stake in VocaLink for $920 Million

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Mastercard Inc. agreed to buy a controlling stake in VocaLink Holdings Ltd., which handles most payroll and household bill processing in the U.K.

Mastercard will pay $920 million for 92.4 percent of the U.K.-based payments-processing firm, according to a statement Thursday from Purchase, New York-based Mastercard. VocaLink’s existing shareholders will retain 7.6 percent ownership and can receive as much as $220 million more if performance targets are met.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play a bigger role in payments in the U.K., a very strategic market for us,” Mastercard Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga said in the statement. “We look forward to investing in and maximizing the technology, and embedding it in our products and solutions.”

VocaLink processes more than 90 percent of salaries and more than 70 percent of household bills in the U.K., according to the statement. The deal will give Mastercard, the second-largest U.S. payments network, more of a foothold in Britain as larger rival Visa Inc. pursues plans to boost its presence and improve its technology in the region.

The transaction is expected to be dilutive for up to 24 months after the deal is completed, Mastercard said. If the purchase closes in early 2017, the company estimates it would be 5 cents dilutive to earnings per share in 2017 and 2018.

David Yates, VocaLink’s CEO, will join the Mastercard management committee after the deal is completed.

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