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EQT to buy Saxo Bank's online cross-border payments unit

BBR Staff Writer Published 10 July 2018

EQT Partners has agreed to acquire Saxo Payments Banking Circle, a cross-border payments infrastructure platform, for an undisclosed price from Danish investment banking company Saxo Bank and other minority owners.

The Swedish private equity group will acquire Saxo Payments Banking Circle (Banking Circle) through its EQT VIII fund and EQT Ventures fund, alongside the financial utility’s founders and other co-investors.

Following the completion of the transaction, EQT VIII will hold the majority stake in Banking Circle, which was founded five years ago as a next-generation provider of mission-critical infrastructure to enable online cross-border payments.

Saxo Bank founder and CEO Kim Fournais said: “As investor and incubator, we have supported the company with our core competencies in foreign exchange as well as developing and managing global fintech solutions.

“It is not an easy task to build fintech solutions that create value and are long-term sustainable, but the company has done what few succeed in. We see EQT as the ideal partner for the next part of the journey and we are confident that Saxo Payments Banking Circle will thrive and continue its impressive growth trajectory.”

Currently, Banking Circle processes nearly €60bn run-rate annual payment volumes for various high-profile customers, who use direct clearing access via partnerships with blue-chip partner banks.

EQT said that it will back the continued acceleration of the growth strategy of Banking Circle across the latter’s current and new geographies, in addition to the expansion of its product portfolio.

Banking Circle through EQT is expected to gain access to operational and financial resources to bring in innovation and investments in technology development and talent acquisition.

EQT Partners partner Mads Ditlevsen said: “We have followed Banking Circle for several years and are impressed by the company's management team and unique innovation capabilities.

“Saxo Bank and Banking Circle’s management team have built an innovative, secure, and highly automated platform to make competitive, faster, and more transparent payments across borders.”

Subject to approval from financial regulators, the transaction is anticipated to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Image: Saxo Bank headquarters in Hellerup, Denmark. Photo: courtesy of Jensejnerjep/Wikipedia.org.