SAXO Bank Hives off its Banking Circle Payments Business to Swedish PE firm, EQT

Saxo BankSAXO Bank which is through its major restructuring process post the acquisition by China’s Geely Group has agreed to sell its Banking Circle Payments unit to a Swedish PE firm, EQT. The offloading of its stake in the Payment unit is a part of SAXO Bank’s restructuring process which is hiving off its non-core assets to focus on its core brokerage business. 

Both the parties involved in the transaction has not disclosed the price of the acquisition which is subject to several regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q4-2018. EQT Partner’s EQT VIII fund and EQT Ventures fund will buy together with other co-investors, in which EQT VIII will have the majority shareholding.

Banking Circle, founded in 2013 is a next-gen provider of mission-critical infrastructure for online cross-border payments and processes about €60 million run-rate annual payment volumes for several clients using direct clearing access through partnerships with blue-chip partner banks.

Post acquisition, the current management team of founders and co-CEOs Anders la Cour and Laust Bertelsen will continue to lead the company operations. The company in its statement has noted that it will continue to support the continued acceleration of the company’s growth strategy. Through EQT, Banking Circle will get access to both operational and financial resources to drive innovation and investments in technology development and talent acquisition. 

Kim Fournais, CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank
Kim Fournais, CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank

Commenting on the sale, Kim Fournais, founder and CEO of Saxo Bank said:

“We are proud of Saxo Payments Banking Circle’s development and growth. As investor and incubator, we have supported the company with our core competencies in foreign exchange as well as developing and managing global fintech solutions. It is not an easy task to build fintech solutions that create value and are long-term sustainable, but the company has done what few succeed in. We see EQT as the ideal partner for the next part of the journey and we are confident that Saxo Payments Banking Circle will thrive and continue its impressive growth trajectory. We look forward to continuing a close collaboration with the company and EQT, leveraging our technology and market access.”

Anders la Cour, co-CEO at Banking Circle
Anders la Cour, co-CEO at Banking Circle

Anders la Cour and Laust Bertelsen, co-CEOs at Banking Circle commented:

“We would like to thank Saxo Bank for a great partnership and look forward to a close collaboration in the years to come. We are excited to partner with EQT. With their support, we will be ideally positioned to continue innovating to serve our customers even better and continue our rapid growth.”

Mads Ditlevsen, Responsible Deal Partner and Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to the majority owner EQT VIII, said:

“We have followed Banking Circle for several years and are impressed by the company’s management team and unique innovation capabilities. Saxo Bank and Banking Circle’s management team have built an innovative, secure, and highly automated platform to make competitive, faster, and more transparent payments across borders. The company is looking forward to supporting Banking Circle and the management team on their continued growth journey and in building a leading global payments infrastructure player. The cooperation between EQT VIII and Ventures enables Banking Circle to benefit from the full EQT platform.”