Nets-Concardis merger targets Germany’s cash-centric economy

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Denmark-based Nets is merging with Concardis Payment Group, a leading merchant payment service provider in German-speaking regions of Europe, with hopes of expanding their respective footprints in Germany, where about 75% of payments are conducted in cash.

Nets and Concardis will join forces through a share exchange, with Nets CEO Bo Nilsson leading the combined entity and Concardis CEO Robert Hoffman reporting to Nilsson, the companies said in a Monday press release.

Nets has played a key role in driving several Netherlands-based mobile payments initiatives by uniting 62 banks and thousands of merchants in the Bokis mobile payment scheme, piloting finger vein payments in Copenhagen and extending real-time payments in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Concardis, based in Eschborn, Germany, is a major provider of e-commerce technology in the region, supporting merchant portals and invoicing solutions. The companies will jointly offer technology for online, offline, mobile, recurring and real-time payments, according to the release.

“This merger with Concardis Group enables us to increase our exposure to the German-speaking part of Europe which, in addition to being a high-growth area, is an ideal springboard for the rest of Europe,” said Nilsson in the release, noting that consolidation has been a recent theme in the European payments industry.

“Combining our product knowledge and technological capabilities will allow us to go to market even quick with state-of-the-art and customer-friendly products,” added Hoffman in the release.

The merger creates a business with approximately US$584 million in EBITDA and $1.5 billion in net revenue, according to the release. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

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