ATHENS, Jan 25 (Reuters) - JPMorgan said on Tuesday
it had agreed to acquire an around 49% stake in Athens-based
payments fintech Viva Wallet, subject to regulatory approvals.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but
sources close to the deal told Reuters Viva Wallet was valued at
more than $2.0 billion.
JPMorgan's investment will top $1.15 billion, including a
capital increase in Viva Wallet which will not dilute its
founders' majority stake of 51.5%, said the sources, who
declined to be named.
Cloud-based Viva Wallet, which operates in 23 countries
across Europe, provides card acceptance services through its POS
application, add-on Google play devices and advanced payment
systems in online stores.
"We are very excited to make a strategic investment in Viva
Wallet to support their vision to empower new growth and
payments innovation targeted at European small and midsize
businesses," JPMorgan's head of global payments Takis
Georgakopoulos said in a statement.
He said the European payments sector is large in terms of
opportunity, with more than 17 million merchants ready to
implement payments systems that can be quickly ramped up.
The stake will be acquired from Viva Wallet's minority
shareholders, including the Latsis family office, which holds
about 13% of the firm, and British fund Hedosophia, with about
In 2020 Viva Wallet bought Greece's first digital challenger
Praxia Bank, which was owned by former Barclays boss Bob Diamond
and fellow Atlas Merchant Capital partner David Schamis,
acquiring a banking licence.
In the same year it launched Apple Pay and Google Pay in 18
countries, offering clients digital business debit cards.
"Viva Wallet's mission is to change the way businesses pay
and get paid in Europe with cutting edge technology," said Chief
Executive Haris Karonis, co-founder of Viva Wallet.
Jefferies was Viva Wallet's sole financial adviser on the
deal, with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP the legal adviser.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Jan Harvey)