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EQT acquires Saxo Payments Banking Circle

  • Saxo Payments Banking Circle’s unique banking platform enables cross-border payments with reduced complexity, time and cost 
  • EQT to support Saxo Payments Banking Circle’s continued growth by leveraging the entire EQT platform, including around 25 years of experience in future-proofing companies as well as accelerating hyper-growth businesses, deep TMT expertise, and a global industrial network

The EQT VIII fund (“EQT VIII”) and EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”) (jointly “EQT”) have together with company founders and other co-investors entered into an agreement to acquire Saxo Payments Banking Circle (“Banking Circle” or “the company”) from Saxo Bank A/S and other minority owners. EQT VIII will have the majority ownership.

Founded in 2013, Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical infrastructure for online cross-border payments. Today, Banking Circle is processing around EUR 60 billion run-rate annual payment volumes for several high-profile customers using direct clearing access through partnerships with blue-chip partner banks. The global cross-border payments market is driven by an increasing need for faster and less costly payments, compliance, and transparency, resulting in one of the fastest growing segments within the payments ecosystem.

EQT will support the continued acceleration of Banking Circle’s growth strategy, in current and new geographies, as well as the expansion of the product portfolio. Through EQT, Banking Circle will get access to both operational and financial resources to drive innovation and investments in technology development and talent acquisition. The company will also be able to leverage the entire EQT platform, including deep TMT sector expertise, local presence and EQT’s global network of Industrial Advisors. Banking Circle’s current management team, including founders and co-CEOs Anders la Cour and Laust Bertelsen, will continue to lead the organization, building on a strong track record of growth.

“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”, says Kim Fournais, founder and CEO of Saxo Bank.

Anders la Cour and Laust Bertelsen, co-CEOs at Banking Circle comment: “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.”

“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. EQT 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 EQT Ventures enables Banking Circle to benefit from the full EQT platform”, says Mads Ditlevsen, Responsible Deal Partner and Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to the majority owner EQT VIII.

“We’re excited to partner with the entrepreneurs behind Banking Circle and support them in building the next generation infrastructure for cross-border payments,” says Hjalmar Winbladh, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Ventures. “Cross-border payments is a large and rapidly growing market dominated by traditional players. Banking Circle has built a disruptive solution with a strong value proposition. The customer feedback is excellent and the company’s traction is evident looking at the triple digit growth of the business.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2018, subject to approval from financial regulators.