Worldline turns the page on Ingenico terminals

Les voyants sont au vert pour le géant des paiements, qui doit cependant faire face à la première mobilisation sociale depuis son entrée en Bourse, en 2015.

Posted Oct 4, 2022, 6:30 AM

End clap. Worldline was pleased on Monday to have “successfully finalized” the sale to the Apollo fund of the payment terminal branch of Ingenico (formerly called TSS). The French payments giant thus closes a chapter in its history that lasted nearly two years. This opened with the takeover of Ingenico by Worldline in 2020. In the process, the group announced the organization of a strategic review centered on the payment terminal branch. An activity with which Worldline, whose business is to manage merchant payments, had no obvious synergies.

This strategic review recorded, in the third quarter of 2021, the resale of this activity, for which the Apollo fund acquired last April. This operation was not easy: Worldline’s share price was heckled on the markets, which were impatient with this sale.

“We are turning an important page linked to the acquisition of Ingenico, commented Gilles Grapinet, the group’s general manager. In the end, everything was very well done. Ingenico has a truly independent project. On the Worldline side, this allows us to simplify our governance structure and, above all, to significantly improve our balance sheet structure. We can thus pursue our portfolio acquisition strategy. »

Acquisition strategy

Apollo spent 2.3 billion euros to get its hands on Ingenico. A sum that has already enabled Worldline to position itself on several files, including the acquisition of a 40% stake in Online Payment Platform BV (OPP), an online payment service provider offering a payment system dedicated to “marketplaces” and platforms. “With OPP, we are acquiring a technological brick that we will be able to offer to all our customers”, explains Gilles Grapinet.

But the sinews of war for Worldline remains the acquisition of merchant portfolios, mainly held by banks. “We are in discussions with several European banks that are looking for a partner specializing in payments on which to lean, assures the manager. Over the first six months of the year, we have recovered 60,000 traders, after 100,000 in 2021.

Optimism is in order for the payments giant, which must however face the first social mobilization since its IPO in 2015. Since September 6, the unions have called a slow strike to demand wage increases and interest. So far, employees have stopped for several hours every Tuesday. “The group’s margins are at 25% and should reach 30% next year, but it does not trickle down to the employees”, pleads Benjamin Piraud, at the CFTC.

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