By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – French payments company Worldline’s <WLN.PA> 7.8 billion euro ($9.23 billion) bid for Ingenico <INGC.PA> may require concessions to gain European Union antitrust regulator approval, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The acquisition by Worldline, which was born out of French IT company Atos <ATOS.PA>, is emblematic of a wave of mergers and acquisitions that U.S. rivals kicked off last year as they try to build up their share of digital transactions.
If Worldline is not able to allay EU concerns and in the absence of concessions, the deal would face a full-scale investigation following the end of the EU’s preliminary review.
Worldline has until Wednesday to offer concessions to the European Commission, unless it can convince the EU competition enforcer prior to that deadline that the move is unnecessary.
The Commission, which is due to decide on the deal by Sept. 16, declined to comment. Ingenico had no immediate comment.
“We’re pursuing the usual procedure of discussions with the Commission and the process is underway, within the expected timetable,” Worldline said.
Ingenico’s strong presence in the travel, health and retail sectors is one of its main attractions for Worldline, while the combined company would have also have an extended partnership with German savings banks.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Alexander Smith)