Equens acquires German card company montrada GmbH

Utrecht, the Netherlands - 7 September 2010

Equens SE, one of the largest payment and card processors in Europe – is to acquire all shares in montrada GmbH, a German card acquiring and network service providing company, which is currently wholly owned by Commerzbank AG. The contract between Commerzbank and Equens, which includes an extensive cooperation agreement, was signed today. The transfer will be finalised within the next few weeks, after which montrada will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Equens. The acquisition of montrada is an important next step for Equens in further expanding its footprint in the European Cards market and reinforcing its position as one of the largest card processors in Europe.

Equens’ strategy is to become the number one pan-European payment and card processor. As a result, Equens constantly focusses on growing its transaction volumes and expanding functionality in order to retain current clients and develop further growth opportunities. In addition to the current home markets for card processing, the Netherlands and Italy, gaining a foothold in additional countries and creating further economies of scale is crucial. The acquisition of montrada is consequently in line with Equens’ strategy. Furthermore, based on the extensive cooperation agreement between Commerzbank and Equens concerning future joint activities in the card acquiring market, this acquisition will provide major opportunities in terms of scale and scope in one of Europe’s largest markets for card transactions. Equens covers the full value/functionality chain of card processing and offers its clients issuing processing, switching, acquiring processing, acquiring processing services, and commercial (merchant) acquiring for debit and credit cards. Moreover, Equens is offering prepaid solutions.

This footprint in Germany will allow Equens to further broaden its acquiring services in Europe to benefit banks and international merchants who are interested in sourcing these activities.

Montrada GmbH operates as an independent card-services enterprise offering a complete service package for cashless payments. This ranges from consultancy to selecting the ideal payment method, to providing on-site terminal installations and customer support. The acquisition of montrada as well as its subsidiary BD-POS GmbH will not affect the companies' total of 60 employees, and will in fact provide them with further development opportunities.

Michael Steinbach, Chairman of the Equens Board of Directors: “The acquisition of montrada is a very important strategic step for us in further expanding our card activities and services in Europe. montrada’s strong presence in the German cards market, combined with their highly skilled employees and the extensive cooperation agreement with Commerzbank, will allow us to take advantage of the enormous opportunities in the cards market in Germany and abroad. Our existing clients, the banks, and also global acting merchants, will benefit from this move.”

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