Sci-tech

PayPal agrees to buy Sweden's iZettle in $2.2 billion deal

PayPal agrees to buy Sweden's iZettle in $2.2 billion deal

PayPal has agreed to acquire iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments firm which enables small businesses to process card payments, for $2.2bn (£1.6bn).

The all-cash deal is PayPal's biggest-ever acquisition following its divorce from former parent company eBay in 2015, and comes just weeks after iZettle, which now operates in 12 countries around the world, filed for an IPO as it looked to expand.

Stockholm-based iZettle is present in 11 countries and offers other services for small businesses such as lending.

In a statement on its website, iZettle CEO and co-founder Jacob de Geer welcomed the deal, which he said would allow the company to "join forces" with PayPal. The transaction ranks as the largest acquisition in PayPal's history, The Wall Street Journal reported. Paypal expects this huge bet to pay off by giving it a formidable presence in the point-of-sales market and a better standing against strong competitors such as Square Inc and Stripe Inc.

The deal happened just before iZettle was set to go public on Nasdaq Stockholm.

PayPal boss Dan Schulman said: "Small businesses are the engine of the global economy and we are continuing to expand our platform to help them compete and win online, in-store and via mobile".

"We believe that the listing will support our continued growth, our strategy and provide us with improved access to capital markets", CEO Jacob de Geer told CNBC at the time. Today, the company's commerce solutions empower almost half a million merchants across 12 countries and two continents to get paid, sell smarter and grow their businesses.

On Thursday, Ghana's vice president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said the country will plunge into the Paypal system by the first half of 2020. The opportunity to become part of PayPal was too good to pass up.

The deal will have forced PayPal's hand for years. The two companies will continue to operate independently until close.


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