Baker McKenzie advised Worldline SA/NV, a leading European commercial acquirer and provider of high-tech transactional services including innovative electronic payment solutions, in connection with establishing a merchant acquiring alliance in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with Komerční banka, a.s., a leading Czech bank and a subsidiary of the Société Générale group.

The EUR 27 million transaction was announced on 30 September and will allow both parties to cooperate in the joint development, marketing and sale of state-of-the-art merchant acquiring and payment processing services and ancillary products to retailers, enabling the implementation of modern technologies and the spread of cashless payments in all types of outlets and among entrepreneurs across the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as expanding the acceptance of cards on the Internet.

The Baker McKenzie team advising Worldline on this highly complex cross-border transaction was led by Prague-based partner Libor Basl, supported by Prague-based associate David Reiterman.

The team advised on a large number of unique documents which address the structuring of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) through which the alliance will operate, as well as other regulatory, competition, IP, corporate and technical considerations, connected with, among others, the transferring of tens of thousands of existing merchants providing payment acceptance to its customers onto a new technical acquiring platform.

“The alliance with Komerční banka in merchant services is far more than a straightforward acquisition, it is a complex balance in a regulated context that was in need of quite some legal creativity. Baker McKenzie has done quite some thinking out of the box that was required to close this deal successfully”, said Jan Mangeleer, Head of Legal Worldline Benelux, commenting on the transaction.

Worldline is the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. With over 40 years of experience, Worldline is a key actor for B2B2C industries, supporting all businesses and administrative services. Worldline activities are organized around three axes: Merchant Services & Terminals, Mobility & e-Transactional Services, Financial Processing & Software Licensing. Worldline employs more than 7,300 people worldwide and generated EUR 1.22 billion revenues in 2015. Worldline is an Atos company.

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