Nets A/S , a market leader in the Nordic payments industry, and Concardis Payment Group, a leading merchant payment service provider in the German-speaking part of Europe, have announced at Money 20/20 that the two companies will join forces to form a leading European payments player (the “Group”).

Bo Nilsson will lead the combined Group as CEO. Robert Hoffmann will continue to lead the Concardis Group as CEO, reporting directly to Bo Nilsson. The headquarters of the Group will be located in Ballerup, Denmark, and Nets and Concardis Group will retain their respective brands.

Over the last couple of years, both companies have been actively driving consolidation in their home countries through strategic acquisitions, especially within the high-growth area of merchant services. With the merger, Nets and Concardis Group combine market-leading positions as payment service champions in the Nordics and German-speaking parts of Europe. Both companies offer their customers a broad portfolio of payments services including offline, online, mobile, recurring payments and real-time services.

The newly-formed Group will further refine its service offering, bringing innovation to market faster, empowering merchants and better meeting consumers’ needs for more digitized, easy-to-use payment solutions. The merger creates a business with approximately €500mn of EBITDA and €1.3bn of net revenue. The resulting industrial scale will enable further investments in innovation and service improvements for merchants, enterprises and bank customers, allowing the Group to create a leading position in the European payments market.

Bo Nilsson, Group CEO of Nets, said: “We want to shape the ongoing consolidation in the European payments industry and further drive our pan-European expansion. Germany offers attractive growth potential due to market size, consumer spending and the fact that around 75 percent of all payment transactions are still cash-based. This merger with Concardis Group enables us to increase our exposure to the German-speaking part of Europe which, in addition to being a high-growth area, is an ideal springboard for the rest of Europe.”

Robert Hoffmann, CEO of Concardis Group, added: “Both our product portfolios enable merchants to benefit from the digitisation of payments with a wide range of products and services, including e-commerce gateways, merchant portals as well as invoicing solutions for e-commerce merchants. Combining our product knowledge and technological capabilities will allow us to go to market even quicker with state-of-the-art and customer-friendly products, underlining our joint ambition to be at the forefront of innovation.”

The newly formed Group is backed by leading private equity investors Hellman & Friedman, Advent International, and Bain Capital. These owners each bring significant sector expertise, operational
resources and capital to help accelerate the new Group’s growth and internationalisation.