FIS, one of the globe’s largest providers of IT, consulting and outsourcing services to the financial services industry, has acquired Clear2Pay for €375 million. With the addition of the Belgium-based Clear2Pay the U.S. Fortune 500 company massively expands its capabilities and footprint in the payments landscape.
Clear2Pay was founded in 2001 by Michel Akkermans, the current CEO, and Jürgen Ingels, CFO. The firm has over the past thirteen years realised strong growth – currently the Brussels-headquartered firm has 1,200 employees across 15 countries. Clear2Pay has built a strong track record in the market, working for several large global financial institutions and recognised by analysts as one of the most innovative players in the payments advisory and technology domain.
The acquisition of Clear2Pay does not come as a major surprise. In October last year Reuters already revealed that Aquiline Capital Partners, the largest investor behind the firm, was seeking to offload its share. And in 2012 Indian IT-services firm was close to poaching Clear2Pay, however the deal stranded at the last moment. Following a successful due diligence and negotiations process, FIS has now agreed to buy Clear2Pay for a fee of €375 million.
For FIS, which employs more than 39,000 people and is number 426 on the Fortune 500, the addition of Clear2Pay significantly expands its payments technology capabilities. According to Gary Norcross, COO of the company, the bundling of Clear2Pay’s expertise with FIS’s existing services will bolster its client service: “This strategic acquisition demonstrates our commitment to delivering the technologies and assets that will enable our clients, especially large and global institutions, to realize a truly modern payments environment that encompasses all customer channels, simplifies payment operations, reduces costs and provides a better customer experience.”
Clear2Pay co-founder Ingels says the deal will benefit the “people and clients of Clear2Pay”, providing them with new possibilities made possible by the size and global span of FIS. Ingels also highlights that the transaction still is subject to regulatory approvals and contractual closing conditions, although no major obstacles are expected up to the expected close during the fourth quarter.
Four years ago FIS also bought Capco, a consulting firm that specialises in the financial services industry.