Payments M&A Activity Peaking in Germany

Navigator Edition: January 2016
By: Markus Naumer

The German payments market, long characterized by a unique and competitive landscape, is increasingly influenced by multi-national companies and is showing signs of increased consolidation as a result of a wave of recent M&A activity. We expect Germany to remain an active M&A market throughout 2016.

Recent Activity

2015 was a busy year for the German payments market, as evidenced by the number of significant and/or strategic acquisitions that were made, particularly in the acquiring space (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: 2015 Payments M&A Activity in Germany

Figure-1_--2015-Payments-M&A-Activity-in-GermanySource: Public announcements and First Annapolis Consulting research.

Outlook for Continued Deal Activity in 2016

We expect Germany and its neighbor Austria to continue to be active M&A markets. Possible targets and areas of ongoing activity are described below.

  • In the acquiring space, both Concardis and B/S are high-profile targets given their scale and current bank ownership. Concardis recorded revenues of €66 million with an EBITDA of €21 million in 2014, while B+S Card Service recorded revenues of €99 million with an EBITDA of €11 million.
  • Acquirer/issuer Card Complete (which was previously rumored to be for sale) and its Austrian acquiring peer Hobex could also be acquisition targets given their respective bank ownership and the precedent already established by the sale of Paylife by some of these same shareholders in 2013.
  • ICP, a diversified NSP, acquirer, and value-added services company also rumored for sale in the past, is among a list of other, smaller NSPs/PSP such as REA Card and Cardtech that could ultimately be acquired in the push for consolidation of this marketplace.
  • Computop and DataTrans (based in Switzerland) remain attractive targets as two of the larger remaining independent PSPs in the region. The Germanic iPSP market in general remains fairly fragmented with a long potential list of targets including companies such as Heidelpay, Paymill, and MPay24 among others.

Germany is Europe’s second largest payment acceptance revenue pool and a strategically important market. We expect continued strategic interest in the market to continue to drive M&A activity in 2016.

For more information, please contact Markus Naumer, Consultant,

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