AnaCap Financial Partners (AnaCap), a specialist mid-market private equity investor, has entered into exclusive negotiations for the purchase of a majority stake in Market Pay, an innovative end-to-end omnichannel payments platform operating in multiple countries, from the Carrefour Group (Carrefour) in a deal valued close to EUR300 million. The transaction is subject to the consultation of works council and to the usual closing conditions (including regulatory and antitrust approvals).
The deal, expected to complete in H1 2021, would see Carrefour retaining a minority stake in what will be a working partnership to commercialise the offering outside Carrefour, diversify product lines and internationalise Market Pay. AnaCap’s proposed ownership would also see Market Pay remain the exclusive payments provider for the Carrefour Group going forward, whilst further diversifying its client base.
Market Pay is a leading omnichannel provider of payment services, offering comprehensive one-stop-shop solutions for merchants and fintech companies. With a strong retail heritage, focus on end-customer experience, unified data platform and some of the best-in-class payment features, it is ideally positioned to help unlock real value for clients across all payment methods. Market Pay was created as the payment arm of the Carrefour Group in 2016, by an innovative group of intrapreneurs led by Frédéric Mazurier and Isabelle Clairac. Frédéric, Isabelle and their team will retain key leadership roles under AnaCap’s control, becoming shareholders alongside AnaCap and Carrefour.
Market Pay increases in-store efficiency by reducing checkout time and improving customer experience. It helps boost merchant sales by providing customers with a wide range of payment methods. It supports e-commerce transition for Point of Sale (PoS) focused retailers and offers secured payment transactions by optimising payment tunnels and reducing fraud risk for merchants.
Leveraging Market Pay’s robust platform and innovative offering, tried and tested with Carrefour Group as one of the largest and most complex retailers globally, AnaCap will therefore seek to institutionalise commercial efforts and support further investment in sales and marketing to maximise client reach, while also focusing on the partner distribution strategy.
Market Pay has had strong, consistent growth for nearly four years. In 2019, Market Pay processed 1.3 billion acceptance transactions, managed a portfolio of five million cards and operated 45,000 terminals. In 2020, the pandemic reinforced and accelerated continuation of secular tailwinds in the payments sector of Market Pay’s target geographies, including the growth of non-cash transactions and further penetration of e-commerce more broadly.
The transaction represents AnaCap’s first investment in the French payments ecosystem, following 8 acquisitions in the DACH region as part of a highly successful buy and build strategy centred around heidelpay, a German payments business that was sold to KKR last year.
Nassim Cherchali, Partner for M&A at AnaCap, says: “Market Pay is uniquely positioned at the heart of the deep, fragmented and rapidly developing European payments ecosystem, benefiting from the consumer shift from cash to card and offline to online. AnaCap is uniquely positioned to support the management team and internationalise into new markets across Europe, investing in and securing franchise growth while also implementing our best-in-class technology practices. AnaCap has great experience in the payments space and we are very excited to begin the next phase of growth with Market Pay.”
Frédéric Mazurier, Chairman at Market Pay, says: “The Carrefour Group were keen to partner with a company that had a strong track record both in the payments sector and in growing fintech businesses internationally with innovative operational strategies. We believe that AnaCap represent the perfect choice to help us develop and explore new markets outside of the Carrefour Group and we look forward to, pending completion, an exciting new chapter for the company in 2021 and beyond.”
For this transaction, AnaCap received financial advice from FIG Partners SAS and legal advice from Proskauer Rose LLP.