First Data International to Acquire POLCARD
Acquisition of Poland's Leading Merchant Acquirer and Cards Processor Further Strengthens First Data's Presence in Central Europe
DENVER & LONDON & WARSAW, Mar 30, 2007 (www.AllPayNews.com) -- First Data International, part of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire POLCARD SA, Poland's leading independent merchant acquirer and card issuer processor, in an all-cash transaction for $325 million.
Poland is the largest market of the recent countries to join the European Union, with a population of 39 million, a strong and growing economy and a rapidly developing electronic cards market. The acquisition of POLCARD positions First Data International strongly in Poland, as well as supports its continued expansion in the fast growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe and provides an entry point to other major markets in the region.
Founded in 1990, POLCARD has the largest network of electronic card acceptance devices in Poland, driving more than 58,000 terminals and managing 1,700 ATMs. POLCARD enables the acceptance of all national and most international debit and credit card brands, both at the point of sale (POS) and over the Internet, as well as cards from non-bank organizations. POLCARD provides a broad range of issuing card services to its banking clients, processing around 170 million transactions per year at its local authorization and clearing center. POLCARD had 2006 revenues of $44 million, and its revenue and earnings growth rates are in line with that of First Data International.
David Yates, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, First Data International, said: "We are delighted to have reached agreement to acquire POLCARD, and we look forward to enhancing our global sourcing capabilities through the employees' depth of technical expertise. Poland is a strategic market for First Data, and POLCARD is an excellent complement to our existing business in the region. Through this acquisition, we are well positioned to support our multinational clients as they extend their presence across Central and Eastern Europe - and to apply First Data's global electronic payments expertise to the benefit of financial institutions and merchants in Poland."
"We are pleased to join First Data, and are confident that it will deliver our clients the quality of service excellence they expect with its global expertise in the electronic commerce industry, and strong reputation for delivering value to its clients through its global reach and robust portfolio of solutions," said Janusz Diemko, CEO of POLCARD.
First Data International opened an office in Poland earlier this year, and has a strong local management team in place to assist with the integration of POLCARD into First Data. First Data is already an industry leader in Central Europe, managing more than 11 million cards, more than 100,000 POS terminals and 8,500 ATMs for banks and merchants throughout the region. With the addition of POLCARD, First Data adds significant local operations in Poland to its existing hubs in Austria, Slovakia, Serbia and the Baltics and the customer service units in Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary and Romania.
Pam Patsley, president, First Data International, commented: "We continue to look for opportunities to expand our international operations, and see great potential for further development in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. POLCARD provides us with an important new base in this rapidly expanding market. Over the past few months, First Data International has also announced a major new agreement with China UnionPay; a merchant acquiring alliance with Standard Chartered across Asia; and a strategic partnership with NCS to offer mobile payments and e-commerce services globally. We are committed to delivering the highest quality services to our financial institution and merchant clients worldwide."
The acquisition of POLCARD is subject to the approval of relevant authorities, and it is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2007.
About First Data International
First Data International, part of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. First Data International serves a diverse range of markets, leveraging global scale through a local presence and maintaining focus on individual client needs. The company has approximately 7,900 employees and operates across Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific.
First Data serves 4.9 million merchant locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers, First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes merchant transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label, gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection and authentication solutions; electronic check acceptance services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile payment solutions. The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 2 million ATM and retail locations. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com.
Established in December 1990, POLCARD is the leading independent debit and credit card merchant transaction acquirer and processor company in Poland driving more than 58,000 terminals. The company has well-established relationships with many of the leading card-issuing banks and financial institutions in Poland. POLCARD has provided comprehensive payment card issuing services since 1993 and ATM management services since 1997.
POLCARD is owned by Innova Capital, a private equity firm, and GTECH, a gaming technology and payment services company that is owned by Lottomatica S.p.A., one of the world's largest commercial lottery operators and a market leader in the Italian gaming industry.
SOURCE: First Data International