MasterCard Announces Acquisition of VocaLink 


MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 92.4 percent of VocaLink Holdings Limited for about £700 million (approximately US$920 million), after adjusting for cash and certain other estimated liabilities. VocaLink’s existing shareholders have the potential for an earn-out of up to an additional £169 million (approximately US$220 million), if performance targets are met. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

Under the agreement, a majority of VocaLink’s shareholders will retain 7.6 percent ownership for at least three years.

Based in London, VocaLink operates key payments technology platforms on behalf of UK payment schemes, including:

  • BACS – the Automated Clearing House (ACH) enabling direct credit and direct debit payments between bank accounts
  • Faster Payments – the real-time account-to-account service enabling payments via mobile, internet and telephone
  • LINK – the UK ATM network

In addition, VocaLink offers innovative products with global potential, including ZAPP, a mobile payments app that leverages Fast ACH technology, and licenses its software and provides services to support ACH activities in Sweden, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. In 2015, the company reported revenues of £182 million as it processed more than 11 billion transactions.

This acquisition accelerates MasterCard’s efforts to be an active participant in all types of electronic payments and payment flows and to enhance its services for the benefit of customers and partners. It will allow MasterCard to play a more strategic role in the UK payments ecosystem, while bringing the innovation and knowhow from across the globe back to VocaLink’s home market. The result will be even more choice in how consumers, merchants and governments make and receive payments.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play a bigger role in payments in the UK, a very strategic market for us,” said Ajay Banga, president and CEO, MasterCard. “VocaLink is a unique company with outstanding technology, assets and people. We look forward to investing in and maximizing the technology, and embedding it in our products and solutions, both in the UK and around the world.”

VocaLink supports and expands the products and services MasterCard offers issuers, governments and merchants, giving them even more relevance and touchpoints with the end consumer. It will be the first true combination of the traditional person-to-merchant cards business with a clearing business, which when fully developed, presents an additional opportunity to make a deeper and sustained shift from the use of cash and checks in business, government and personal payments.

“Today’s announcement is positive news for our partners, customers and employees,” said David Yates, CEO, VocaLink. “We will continue to focus on ensuring that the UK systems perform seamlessly, maintaining the highest levels of quality. At the same time, we’ll invest in further innovation to power competitive payments solutions for consumers and businesses around the globe.”

Upon closing of the transaction, Yates will join the MasterCard management committee.

MasterCard expects the transaction to be dilutive for up to 24 months after the deal closes. If the deal closes in early 2017, the company currently estimates the transaction would be 5 cents dilutive to each of 2017 and 2018 earnings per share. The dilution would be due to continued levels of new product investment, transaction and integration costs, as well as amortization of intangibles.

At 9:00 a.m. ET today, the company will host a conference call to discuss the transaction. The dial-in information for this call is 866-393-4306 (within the U.S.) and 617-826-1698 (outside the U.S.) and the passcode is 54162246. A replay of the call will be available for one month and can be accessed by dialing 855-859-2056 (within the U.S.) and 404-537-3406 (outside the U.S.) and using passcode 54162246.

The live call and the replay can also be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at Presentation slides used on this call are also available on the website.

Source: MasterCard

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