Blog / News Blog /

The Worldline and Equens Project

The Worldline and Equens Project 



Worldline intends to join forces with Equens to strengthen its pan-European leadership in payment services. A transformational deal for Worldline, providing the enlarged Worldline Group a highly comprehensive pan-European footprint, with leading positions and offerings in key geographies (France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the Nordics). A transaction structured in two components:

  • An asset/share deal in Financial Processing, by merging the processing activities of the two companies in Europe to create "Equens Worldline Company", to be owned 63.6% by Worldline and 36.4% by the current Equens shareholders;
  • A deal in cash in Commercial Acquiring, where Worldline will acquire 100% of Equens’ subsidiary PaySquare.


This major transaction will provide a stronger positioning across the extended payments value chain. Furthermore, the enlarged Worldline Group will benefit from Equens’ expertise in SEPA payments and in ACH*.


Gilles Grapinet is graduate of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration and a French Inspecteur Général des Finances (General Finance Inspector). Before joining Worldline 7 years ago, he had already been very active in and around the payment industry, whether it was in terms of Information Systems an Strategy for the French Direction Générale des Impôts (Tax Department) and for Crrédit Agricole SA, where he also was in charge of the group's Systems and Payment Servives division.


What are the reasons for this strategic transaction?

This industrial transaction with Equens is a decisive step reflecting our strategic ambition to be one of the leading consolidators of payments in Europe. It will provide an opportunity to join forces with highly experienced payment experts from Equens and to share, within our enlarged group, a common future. For our respective customers facing new challenges coming from regulatory changes and digital transformation, we will bring together highly efficient, reliable and innovative payment systems and solutions.

Why Equens?

Worldline and Equens have very similar histories, origins and share the same culture so this project is a natural evolution for both our companies. Additionally, our activities do not overlap and we have key industrial complementarities. That is why I am very confident about the unique possibilities we have ahead of us. By combining our skills and strengths and by delivering our synergies on infrastructure and applications, we will be better positioned than ever to address opportunities within the fast-changing European payment market.

What will this major transaction imply for our clients?

Concretely, thanks to the new Equens Worldline Company, the enlarged Worldline Group will provide its customers:

  • Undisputed complementary service portfolio and expertise in both non-Card and card-based payments;
  • Ambitious R&D activities to accelerate innovation and better support their time to market & digital transformation;
  • Even stronger reliability, robustness and security for processing services thanks to scalability and further industrialization of our platforms and solutions;
  • Economy of scale providing more cost efficiency.

What will the implications be for our collaborators?

For everyone in Worldline, it will mean:

  • Long term vision and growth ambitions to pursue the development of our company;
  • Evolve within an enlarged group having a unique pan-European footprint, leading positions and offers in key geographies;
  • Chance to work together with highly respected industry experts;
  • Creativity and innovation boost;
  • Opening of new international career opportunities.

We are now a team of more than 7,300 people across 17 countries in Worldline, and today we are writing a new chapter in our history, dedicated to even better support our banking customers who face so many new challenges in this digital world. Tomorrow, we will welcome a highly skilled management team and more than 1,300 new colleagues.


Prior to joining Equens in 2003, Michael Steinbach had already gained anextensive experience in the payment industry, through key roles at GZB-Bank and DZ BANK AG. He also holds a seat on the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank Nederland NV and is Chairman of the International Payment Framework Association (IPFA).

Mr Steinbach, what will this mean for Equens?

Joining forces with Worldline and creating the new entity, Equens Worldline Company, is a major milestone in consolidating the European payments market. This step follows consequently the proven strategy of Equens since our foundation in 2006, with a truly pan-European processing payment service provider, to maximize economies of scale and scope, and with that actively supporting the development of an integrated European payments market. Because of the complementarity of the service portfolios of Worldline and Equens, current clients from both companies will substantially benefit in terms of an enlarged, state-of-the-art product portfolio and time-to-market. Based on that, Equens Worldline Company will create new and innovative business opportunities. I am very excited about this joint future with a highly respected innovative company in the payments market and look forward to the promising future of the new Equens Worldline Company.

* Automated Clearing House

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016, after the projected reorganization of the contributed businesses, and is subject to work councils' information and consultation processes in Worldline and Equens, as well as regulatory and antitrust authorities' approvals.