Nexi, Italy’s biggest payments provider, is to merge with rival SIA, creating a group with an estimated 70% share of the local market.
- According to Reuters, the firms announced the expected merger Monday, saying the new group is likely to bring in 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) in annual revenue.
- As well as eclipsing Italian rivals, the new group is planned to expand across Europe.
- Merger talks have been ongoing for at least 18 months – held up by disagreements over valuation and governance of the new group, Reuters said.
- The new group will handle around 120 million payments cards and manage payments for some 2 million merchants.
- The Italian government, which has an indirect stake in SIA through Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (an investment bank dating back to 1850), will end up owning roughly 25% of the new group.
- Nexi will own around 70% of the new entity after the merger.
- Italy is behind other nations when it comes to digital payments infrastructure, but the coronavirus pandemic is helping drive change in the nation.
- As long as certain conditions are met, the merger is expected to be completed by next summer, seeing the creation of a company with an expected market value of over 15 billion euros.