The continuous cycle of M&A, partnerships, and collaborations in the B2B payments space does not seem to be slowing down. This piece in Business Wire provides the latest such announcement with WEX acquiring eNett and Optal, both Australia-based enterprises specializing in travel and B2B payment capabilities.
As most readers will know, WEX has been branching out for some years from their legacy fuel card business, expanding both the fuel business globally as well as adding broader general B2B solutions sets to capitalize on the massive digital opportunities in payments across the globe.
‘ “The combination of WEX’s travel business with eNett and Optal further strengthens our leadership in the global travel marketplace,” said Melissa Smith, WEX’s Chair and CEO. “In particular, this transaction strengthens our position outside of the US, adds a unique but complementary product suite, and brings a talented team with expertise in operating in international markets. We are confident this transaction will enable us to accelerate our growth by deepening and expanding our position in the global travel market, broadening our product offerings to more fully address the needs of our Travel customers, and diversifying our business geographically while reducing our exposure to macro-economic factors.” ‘
The article is essentially a condensation of a bit more detail available on the WEX site. The bulk of the additional expected revenue ($150 million) is in EMEA and Asia Pacific. There is also a $25 million cost reduction assumption through consolidation. The published price is in the $1.7 billion range, including roughly $1.2 billion in cash (debt financing will be arranged) and the remainder in stock considerations. The listed benefits to transaction are listed on the WEX site.
‘Combination of scale, distribution and technology creates a leading travel payments provider
Provides additional product functionality
Provides geographic diversification, while reducing exposure to macro-economic factors
Provides greater access to global travel market and further strengthens WEX’s customer pipeline
Attractive financial profile with clear path to realizing synergies’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Services at Mercator Advisory Group