£150m gain for RBS as MasterCard buys VocaLink

MasterCard said it agreed to acquire 92.4 percent of payment processing giant VocaLink for about £700 million ($920 million).

In the UK, VocaLink operates the Link ATM network and processes more than 90% of salaries, 70% of household bills and almost all state benefits.

Based in London, VocaLink also operates BACS, the Automated Clearing House (ACH) enabling direct credit and direct debit payments between bank accounts.

VocaLink is owned by a number of banks including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is a 21.4% shareholder.

RBS said it expects to report an initial pre-tax gain of £150 million on the sale.

MasterCard said VocaLink’s existing shareholders have the potential to make an additional £169 million ($220 million) if performance targets are met.

VocaLink reported revenues of £182 million in 2015 and processed more than 11 billion transactions.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play a bigger role in payments in the UK, a very strategic market for us,” said Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard.

“VocaLink is a unique company with outstanding technology, assets and people.

“We look forward to investing in and maximizing the technology, and embedding it in our products and solutions, both in the UK and around the world.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.