MasterCard buys VocaLink for £700 million

MasterCard yesterday announced that it has entered a 'definitive' agreement to buy London-based VocaLink Holdings Limited.

The fintech company will be sold for approximately £700 million, and MasterCard says it will allow it to play a 'more strategic role' in the UK payments ecosystem. It promises more choice for consumers.

In 2015, VocaLink reported revenues of £182 million, and processed more than 11 billion transactions. The company operates BACS, Faster Payments and LINK, the UK ATM network.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play a bigger role in payments in the UK, a very strategic market for us,” said Ajay Banga, president and CEO, MasterCard. “VocaLink is a unique company with outstanding technology, assets and people. We look forward to investing in and maximizing the technology, and embedding it in our products and solutions, both in the UK and around the world.”

“Today’s announcement is positive news for our partners, customers and employees,” said David Yates, VocaLink's CEO who will join the MasterCard management committee once the acquisition is complete.

“We will continue to focus on ensuring that the UK systems perform seamlessly, maintaining the highest levels of quality. At the same time, we’ll invest in further innovation to power competitive payments solutions for consumers and businesses around the globe.”

Transactions should be dilutive for up to 24 months after the deal closes, MasterCard presumes. It is still subject to regulatory approval, and other customary closign conditions.

A majority of VocaLink's shareholders will keep 7.6 per cent ownership for at least another three years.