US financial services provider Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS), has struck the biggest deal in the history of payments industry, by agreeing to buy Worldpay for about $35 billion on Monday.
The financial technology sector is gathering momentum quickly. Consulting firm McKinsey predicts that the fast-paced market is set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023. This is due to the increased number of people switching from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales.
Worldpay initially spun off from Royal Bank of Scotland in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and rose to become one of UK’s largest payments firm. The company was then taken over by Vantiv in a $10.4 billion deal in January last year. FIS and Worldpay combined will have annual revenue of about $12 billion and adjusted core earnings of about $5 billion. Upon closing of the deal, FIS shareholders will own about 53 percent and Worldpay shareholders about 47 percent of the combined company.
“Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” said Gary Norcross, FIS Chief Executive Officer. “Vantiv had yet to realise all the synergies from the Worldpay merger but FIS’s offer was too good to be refused,” a source close to the deal said.
Despite growing trade tensions and a slowdown in global economy, the digital payments industry has remained largely unaffected. The industry has continued to witness many mega deals. With the growing number of successful startups in the financial data processing sector, established companies are acquiring rivals and startups to expand revenue and expand offerings. In January last year, US-based Fiserv Inc bought payment processor First Data Corp for $22 billion. In Europe, startups such as Italy’s Nexi plans to list in what could be one of Europe’s biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) this year.