European payments player Worldline, which is the $5.10 Bn payments arm of French IT services giant Atos, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% stake in Chennai based Indian payment platform MRL PosNet for $104.5 Mn(€ 89 Mn). The transaction is expected to close before the end of October 2017.
Gilles Grapinet, Worldline CEO stated, “With the acquisition of MRL PosNet, we are significantly reinforcing our presence in the Indian market and leveraging Worldline India already successful development. Through this acquisition, we will intend to better support Indian banks and merchants in the remarkable development of the country towards digital payments, by enlarging our customer base in Southern India, by a low cost payment terminal sourcing adapted to the local market needs and by an efficient terminal management solution.”
The group will integrate MRL PosNet in Worldline’s Merchant Services Global Business Line while retaining MRL PosNet top management and key staff. Signal Hill India acted as the exclusive financial advisor to MRL Posnet on the transaction.
Wordline And MRL Posnet: A Glimpse
Founded in 2008 by Kishore K Kothapalli and headquartered in Chennai, India, MRL PosNet, a technology-led, integrated merchant acquiring solutions provider employs approximately 140 engineers. It currently processes payment transactions on behalf of 18 Indian banks, through the management of 100,000 payment terminals and has recorded 1.13 billion worth of transactions in an annualised basis.
Worldline meanwhile is the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry with over 40 years of experience. Worldline activities are organized around three axes: merchant services, mobility and e-transactional services, and financial services. It employs more than 8,700 people worldwide, with estimated pro forma revenue of more than $1.76 Bn(€ 1.5 Bn) on a yearly basis.
Through this acquisition, Worldline is looking to deepen its footprints and acquire a strong customer base of banking institutions, particularly in the southern part of India. The acquisition is an important milestone in the execution of the Worldline Group’s strategy in India as it will leverage MRL Posnet’s product functionalities and technological synergies to acquire a strong customer base of banks in Southern India.
Kishore Kothapalli, MD, MRL Posnet told ET, “By joining forces with Worldline, MRL Posnet gains a strategic owner with deep expertise in the global payments processing industry, giving us the opportunity to expand our capabilities and further extend our investment in and commitment to operational excellence for the benefit of our clients.”
With the acquisition of MRL Posnet, Wordline has become the newest foreign entrant in the payments space in India is projected to reach $500 Bn by 2020, contributing 15% to India’s GDP, as per a recent report by Google and Boston Consulting Group. No wonder, it has become the hotspot for major activity in the recent months given the rise in smartphone population and digital payments. Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and WhatsApp are all lining up offerings to gather a slice of this developing market of the 520 Mn smartphone users predicted in the country by 2020 in the Google and BCG report. This month Google’s much awaited UPI enabled mobile payments app Tez also made its debut in India.