Posted on Oct. 27, 2021, 6:07 p.m.Updated Oct 27, 2021, 7:14 PM
The decision is made. On the occasion of the presentation of its third quarter results on Tuesday, Worldline, the French payments giant, formalized its desire to separate from the terminal payment branch of Ingenico (called TSS), acquired there is everything just a year.
“The reality is that it is better to give its independence to TSS, explained Gilles Grapinet, the boss of Worldline, to the“ Echos ”. Notably because some of its customers are direct competitors of Worldline. The sector is undergoing transformation, and TSS will benefit from having a dedicated shareholder base to support it. “Notably because this transformation requires significant investments.
The group has indicated that it favors a “short-term” disposal scenario and ensures that “serious” discussions are underway. If this track fails, a plan B is planned for the course of the year 2022. According to information from “Echos”, the Apollo fund was the last player in the running for the takeover of TSS.
This announcement, however, greatly disappointed the markets. This Wednesday, the title of the giant closed down more than 15% on the Paris Stock Exchange. Investors have been waiting for several months for the completion of this transaction, which was initially supposed to bring in around 2.5 billion euros for the group. This sum should allow it to pursue its acquisition strategy and thus achieve the status of European payment champion, at a time when competition is intensifying in the sector.
“The sale of terminals is announced as imminent, but apart from the fact that the branch is classified in Discontinued operations (that is to say exit from the balance sheet, Editor’s note), Gilles Grapinet confirmed last night that at most in 18 months TSS would no longer be part of Worldline, explains Grégoire Hermann, equity analyst at AlphaValue. This is what was already announced to us in the first quarter of 2021. “
In addition, believes the analyst, the fact that TSS is written off allows Worldline a lot of discretion on the performance of the activity. “The shadow hangs over the resale price”, says Grégoire Hermann.
A union source believes that if the group is unable to announce a buyer, it is partly because the future entity must be contractually linked to Worldline in order to continue to provide it with the necessary equipment for the rest of its activities. “For a potential buyer, this is a potentially rather restrictive point”, explains this source.
Beyond that, Gilles Grapinet believes that the group is entering a new phase. “It’s a new start for Worldline,” says the boss. This is going to be the best three years of the group. We will achieve between 9 and 11% growth and record an increase in profitability of 400 points. We are reaping the benefits of the acquisitions we have made in recent years, the synergies of which will show their full force. “
Since the takeover of Ingenico a year ago, Worldline has secured three banking partnerships and the payment volumes that go with them. The group now has one million merchant customers and aims to capture 200,000 more, according to its three-year plan.
PAX, the Chinese terminal giant collapses on the stock market
PAX Technology, the Chinese payment terminal giant and one of Worldline’s main competitors in the United States in particular, lost nearly 50% of its value on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after one of its warehouses located in the United States was raided by American authorities. In an official statement, the FBI said its agents were accompanied by teams from national security, the Department of Commerce and customs. The reasons for this search are not yet known.